Jan. 15, 2014
Rochester, Mich. - Elena Popkey set a career-high with 25 points as the Oakland women's basketball team (7-9, 2-1 HL) used an offensive burst in the first half with 12 3-pointers to defeat Valparaiso (2-13, 0-2 HL), 88-55, inside the Athletics Center O'rena Wednesday night. OU is now on a five-game home winning streak.
"That was a good win for us," said head coach Jeff Tungate. "Every conference win is a good win. I like the way our team is playing right now. They have some of confidence and hopefully that will continue for games to come. In the first half we were unselfish, passing the ball and finding the hot hand."
Popkey set a career-high with five 3-pointers as Oakland finished the game with 14 3-pointers. Amy Carlton started the game 4-of-4 from behind the arc and finished with 14 points. Bethany Watterworth added 16 points on 6-of-8 shooting, while Olivia Nash recorded her sixth double-double of the season with 11 points and 11 rebounds.
Oakland led 50-23 at half as the Golden Grizzlies shot 57.1 percent from behind the arc led by Popkey and Carlton who combined to go 9-for-9. Oakland used a 16-3 run to lead by 27 as OU hit three-straight triples late in the half. Popkey ended the period with 17 points as the Grizzlies scored 50 or more points in a half for the third time this season.
In the second half Oakland continued to shoot well going 13-of-26 from the floor led by Watterworth with eight points and going 3-for-3 from the field. Oakland pushed the lead to 30 points early in the half and led by as many as 38 in the game.
Valpo was led by Elizabeth Hamlet, who played at Oakland from 2010-13 before transferring to the Crusaders after graduating in April 2013, with 12 points on 4-of-5 shooting, while Abby Dean added 10 points. Valparaiso shot just 1-of-11 from behind the arc and finished 39.2 percent shooting from the floor.
Oakland continues its two-game homestand on Saturday as they host UIC starting at 2 p.m. inside the Athletics Center O'rena.