Francis earns 100th career conference win



In another dominating defensive performance, the Oakland University women’s basketball team shut down the IUPUI Jaguars, 73-50, Monday night inside the O’rena, and improved to 5-1 in conference play.

For the second game in a row, the Golden Grizzlies held their opponent below 40 percent shooting and forced more than 15 turnovers.

The win gave Oakland coach Beckie Francis her 100th career conference win.

Francis was impressed with her team’s defensive effort in the victory.

“Our defensive intensity was really, really good,” Francis said. “They started hitting a few more shots in the second half, but I’m still happy with holding a team to 35 percent for the game. We’re taking pride in being the number one team in the league in defense, and we want to keep that going.”

OU was on top of its game early, shooting their way to a 10-3 lead just seven minutes into the game. The Jaguars were able to claw their way back into the game, however, and briefly took a 14-12 lead with eight and a half minutes left in the first half.

The Grizzlies responded emphatically with a 20-4 run to take a 32-18 lead into halftime. Four different players scored during the spurt, including freshman guard Malika Glover, who was making her second career start.

“We knew we had to pick it up and go into the second half with a solid lead,” Glover said. “We wanted to take no mercy,


Glover played a large part in creating Oakland’s 14-point halftime lead, scoring 13 points before the break. She finished the game with 16 points, a career-high. She also pulled down seven rebounds, which was tied for the team-high.

“I was taking what was open (in the first half) and hitting my open teammates in the second half,” Glover said. “That’s just how it worked out. (Rebounding) is something that we really emphasize in practice and I’ve really been getting better at it, so I just take pride in every rebound I can get.”

With a shortened bench and only eight players available due to injuries, Francis was able to get the most out of her players, as everyone who entered the game scored. While not happy with all of the injuries, Francis said she is looking for positives from the situation.

“Everyone is starting to know their roles, and it’s a little bit easier now that numbers are lower — not that we want that — but when they’re lower, everyone knows their roles,” Francis said.

The team’s leading scorer, sophomore Bethany Watterworth, was held below her season average with 11 points, but also tallied four assists and two blocks. Junior Brittany Carnago added to her defensive totals with four blocks as she continues to move up OU’s all-time list.

One of the biggest factors in the game was free throw shooting. The Grizzlies shot 17-of-22 from the charity stripe, compared to just 3-of-6 for IUPUI. The physicality of IUPUI’s defense was both a strength and a weakness as it kept the Jaguars in the game early, but allowed OU to get easy points late.

“They (IUPUI) play very aggressive man-to-man defense and we struggled with it early, which is why they hung with us,” Francis said. “Other teams had been playing us differently so we had to make adjustments. They just keep fouling and being aggressive. The refs are either going to call it or they’re not.”