Blogs > Pemberton's Point

Inside look at high school and Oakland University sports from Oakland Press sports writer Dave Pemberton.

Monday, January 5, 2009

Oakland women-South Dakota St. thoughts

For various reasons I haven’t been able to get to too many Oakland women’s basketball games this season, but I was really impressed with their win over South Dakota State Monday night. The Grizzlies made the Jackrabbits, who are a very talented squad, look like a team that had no business being in the Top 25.

The Jackrabbits had won 10-straight entering Monday’s game and beaten Missouri, Wisconsin, Utah, Oregon, Illinois, Montana, Minnesota, Oral Roberts and Gonzaga among others. In other words SDSU is legit and Oakland dominated the Jacks in the first half, held off a second-half rally and ended the game on a 16-2 run.

Oakland’s defense in the first half was the difference in the game. The Golden Grizzlies forced 11 turnovers, allowed just 15 points and held the Jacks to 22.2 percent shooting from the field.

I really liked the starting lineup of Jessica Pike, Melissa Jeltema, April Kidd, Brittany Carnago and Sharise Calhoun. The lineup has a lot of speed, strength inside and played great defense to start the game. Carnago was really impressive defensively with five blocks and six steals. Carnago, Jeltema and Kidd were all active on the boards and having Kidd, Calhoun and Pike guarding the perimeter caused SDSU problems. The trio used their speed to get in SDSU's face and get into the passing lanes.

Bringing Hanna Reising off the bench also gives the Grizzlies a solid offensive weapon to bring in. Reising had just four points, but she is capable of scoring points in bunches. I’m pretty sure Reising came off the bench because she was coming off an illness, but it’s a lineup that could be used more.

Sophomore Anna Patritto was also impressive and was huge during a seven-minute stretch in the second half where she scored 10 of Oakland’s 12 points. She played her best game last season against a Top 25 team (West Virginia). Hopefully she can build on her performance against the Jacks.

The Golden Grizzlies now have an important game at Oral Roberts on Saturday. Oakland (11-4, 3-1 Summit) is tied for first place with SDSU (14-2, 3-1) and North Dakota State (5-7, 3-1). IUPUI (7-7, 2-1) and Western Illinois (4-10, 2-1) are a half game back. Oral Roberts is 8-6 and 1-2 in Summit League play.



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