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Women's Basketball Stuns #1 Green Bay in 83-81 Thriller

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Play-by-play: Noah Stalker

Color: Joey Hayes

Sideline Reporter: Harjun Buttar

Studio: Giovanni Moceri

The Oakland Golden Grizzlies pull off a stunning upset against the Green Bay Phoenix at the OU Credit Union O’rena. The final score was 83-81.

Oakland came into this game off a 67-51 loss to the Milwaukee Panthers. Star forward Anna Lutz played bully ball against a Kianni Westbrook-less Oakland defense, and Oakland’s poor shooting in the first half doomed them from the get-go. They desperately needed a win in their next game to get themselves on the right track, and with Green Bay coming to town, the Grizzlies knew they had a tough hill to climb.

Green Bay comes into this game off a 75-48 win over the Detroit Mercy Titans, and coasted into this game following an astounding 10-game win streak, looking like the Horizon League version of Sherman’s March to the Sea with how they dismantled every team they faced. Head coach Kevin Borseth is no stranger to having a target on his back with how many yers he’s been king of the Horizon League, and had a roster that was built for anything.

Oakland got behind big to start the first quarter, with Green Bay playing a fast tempo off the defensive rebound and Oakland unable to get comfortable in their defense. The Grizzlies’ poor shooting, which has plagued them throughout Horizon League play, reared its ugly head and threatened to take Oakland out of the game early. However, Linda van Schaik and Alexis Johnson started things offensively for Oakland and tied the game 8-8 with 6:21 left in the quarter. 

The second quarter seemed like a repeat of the first, where Green Bay jumped out to a sizeable advantage, and Oakland came roaring back. This time, Oakland’s offense was productive enough to gain the lead, and they forced Green Bay to play physically and foul Oakland’s best free-throw shooters. Maddie Skorupski and Kennedie Montue contributed off the bench, and Brooke Quarles-Daniels, who has had a quiet sophomore season thus far, went back to her bread and butter of dribble-drives and drawing fouls. Oakland held the lead 47-40 going into the third.

The third quarter was an intensely competitive quarter. Oakland let Green Bay convert on a lot of key shots, but generated the offense to respond. Green Bay’s Marin Westin drew the game to a 48-48 tie with 7:30 left in the third quarter, but Oakland caught fire and produced the best 5 minutes of basketball they had played in the Horizon League, scoring nearly everything and creating a 9-point separation. Green Bay went back to the bully ball, taking a page out of Milwaukee’s book, and went on a 9-2 lead. Oakland still held the lead 62-60 going into the last frame of action.

With 6:39 to go in the game, Green Bay took a 66-64 lead. Oakland’s poor shooting revealed itself at the most inopportune time, but the biggest problem that Oakland faced was their foul trouble. Green Bay forced Oakland to foul very quickly and got several trips to the line. With 1:35 left, Green Bay held a 79-74 lead. Oakland them turned the tables on Green Bay, as Kennedie Montue and Brooke Quarles-Daniels used their speed to create paint looks and converted on all of them. Green Bay started to play physical, but was in nearly as much foul trouble as Oakland. A tough layup by Brooke Quarles-Daniels gave Oakland a late lead with under 2 seconds left in the game. Oakland got the necessary defensive stop and pulled away 83-81.

Oakland will try to carry this momentum of beating the number 1 team in the Horizon League into their home stand on January 25th against Cleveland State, who is the number 2 team in the Horizon League. They improve to 8-9 overall and 4-5 in the conference. 

Meanwhile, Green Bay’s ten-game winning streak snaps with today’s loss, and they’ll try to pick up the pieces in their next contest on Wednesday January 24th against the IUPUI Jaguars..



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