Host: Oakland Golden Grizzlies (8-4, 0-1)
ROCHESTER, Mich. – The Oakland women’s basketball team (8-4, 0-1) rings in 2016 with a Horizon League game against Cleveland State on Saturday, Jan. 2 at 12 p.m. The game will be broadcast live from the Blacktop at the O’rena on ESPN3 with Brad Golder and Bethany Watterworth on the call.
The game is the first leg a double header with the men's team who also plays CSU at 3 p.m.
VIKING BREAKDOWN: Cleveland State (3-7, 0-0) concluded non-conference play with a pair off loses to Saint Louis and UNCG (Dec. 20-21). Redshirt freshman forward Ashanti Abshaw leads CSU and ranks fifth in the league in scoring (16.0 ppg). She also has notched three double-doubles on the season. Defensively, junior guard Brooke Smith leads the conference in steals per game (3.4) while the team is averaging a league-best (10.7).
SERIES HISTORY: Oakland leads the all-time series against CSU 3-2. However, the Vikings won both meetings last season.
LAST TIME OUT: Sidney Santos recorded a career-high 11 points on 4-or-7 shooting and 2-for-2 from behind the arc while Nicole Dodd tied a career-high with 12 points as the Oakland downed Vermont, 74-68, (Dec. 30).
STRONG NON-CONFERENCE START: With the win at Vermont, the Golden Grizzlies concluded the non-conference regular season with a 8-3 record which tied the 2004-05 and 2008-09 teams for the best non-conference winning percentage (72.7%) to begin a season in the Division I era.
LEAGUE HONORS CLEAN SWEEP: For their efforts in Oakland’s 81-74 win over IPFW (Dec. 22), Olivia Nash named was Horizon League Player of the Week for the first time this season after posting her third double-double of the season with a season-high 21 points and 10 rebounds. Taylor Jones set career-highs in points (25), free throws made (9), assists (4), blocks (1) and minutes played (32) and was also named HL Freshman of the Week for the second time (Dec. 28).
MAKING THE GRADE: In the 2015 fall semester, 12-of-15 members of the women’s basketball team posted a 3.00 GPA or better.
HITTING THE BOARDS: Nash's five boards at Vermont moved her into ninth place all-time in program history with 738 career rebounds. Earlier this season, Nash became the 27th player in program history to surpass 1,000 points in the season opener against UM-Dearborn (Nov. 13).
MOVING ON UP: With her seven assists at Vermont, Elena Popkey moved into fourth place all-time in school history with 403 assists. She ranks second in the Horizon League in assists (5.7 apg).
DROPPING DIMES: Oakland leads the HL and ranks eighth in the nation in assists-per-game (19.3 apg) and is also tops in the league in assist/turnover ratio (1.2 ave.).
FILLING IT UP: The Golden Grizzlies led the league in field goal percentage (46.2%) and rank second in scoring offense (79.4 ppg) which also rank 21st and 23rd in the nation respectively.