Oakland surrenders a 17-point lead, loses to Oral Roberts

By Dan Fenner

Oakland University’s women’s basketball team lost 91-87 to Oral Roberts Saturday night after it was unable to maintain the double-digit lead it held for nearly the entire game.

The game was the first of two Homecoming games at the O’Rena Saturday with the men’s game following immediately after.

OU held a 15 point second half lead with about 12 minutes remaining, but ORU steadily climbed back into it, tying the game at 81-81.

The teams traded baskets to follow, but Oral Roberts took the lead for good when Janae Voelker converted a layup with 1:21 remaining.

ORU freshman Kevi Luper gave OU fits in the second half, where she scored 20 of her game-high 31 points.

“If you sag off her she is going to shoot the three, if you play her tight she is going to drive. We just tried to change defenders but she just hit some big shots,” Francis said.

In the first half, the two teams traded early leads and played to a 13-13 tie before OU began pulling away.

Strong shooting performances across the board for the Grizzlies allowed them to build their up lead to 17 points with about four minutes remaining in the first half.

But the Golden Eagles used a 12-4 run in the closing minutes to cut Oakland’s advantage down to a single-digit, 53-44 lead going into the break.

Nearly 58 percent shooting from the field in the first 20 minutes allowed Oakland to tie its season-high for points in one half.

Offensively for Oakland, senior forward Melissa Jeltema recorded a double-double with 22 points and 10 rebounds. Additionally, senior Hanna Reising had 17 points while junior Anna Patritto scored a season-high 15 points for the Grizzlies.

The team will return to action Monday when it hosts Centenary; a rematch of a 75-32 Oakland win in the first matchup Jan. 9.

?”We just have to learn from this loss, take it to heart and not let it happen again,” Jeltema said.