Monday, March 10, 2008
OU women fall to ORU in semifinals
Despite an 18-point effort by junior Jessica Pike and a 12-point performance by junior April Kidd, the Oakland University women’s basketball team (20-10) was unable to overcome the long-range shooting of the Oral Roberts University Golden Eagles, falling 71-61 in the semifinals of the Summit League Women’s Basketball Championship on Monday.
"We dug ourselves too big of a hole to pull ourselves out of," said head coach Beckie Francis. "I would have liked to play healthy but we weren’t able to."
Oral Roberts controlled the pace in the early going, pushing out to a 17-point (40-23) lead with just under two minutes to play in the opening half. The Golden Grizzlies closed the half on a 7-0 run to pull to within ten (40-30) at the half, keyed by a 3-pointer by Pike with seven seconds left.
Oakland continued its run into the second half, pulling to within six (41-35) after freshman Brittany Carnago converted a three-point play just over two minutes into the half. Once again, the Golden Eagles extended their margin to 16 (59-43) before the Golden Grizzlies began a furious rally that would pull them to within three (63-60) with 3:48 remaining after a 3-pointer by Pike. That 3-pointer put Pike over the 1,000 point plateau for her career.
However, the Golden Eagles would not allow another field goal, allowing just one more point on a free throw down the stretch as ORU sealed the victory.
Pike led all players with 18 points, while her eight rebounds tied Kidd for a team high. ORU placed five players in double figures, outshooting OU 44.2 percent to 36.8 percent. The Golden Eagles shot 46.7 percent from long range, shooting at a 60 percent clip in the first half.
The men’s team takes on number two seed IUPUI on Monday, March 10 at 9:30 p.m. EST. The semifinal game will be regionally televised on FSN Plus. It can also be heard on OU’s student radio station WXOU (88.3 FM). FSN Plus is available locally on Comcast channel 900 (requires digital service), WOW! channel 14, Bright House channel 77, Charter channel 88 (requires digital service), DirecTV channel 669 and Dish Network on channel 446.
A first place finish in the tournament will secure the team a berth in the 2008 NCAA Division I Tournament. There are a number of ways to support the Grizzlies in their drive toward the “Big Dance.”
The tournament will be broadcast online for those who wish to take in all of the action. The Summit League is offering a full tournament package for $19.95. The package includes every men’s and women’s tournament contest, minus the televised championship games. The women’s championship game will be broadcast on ESPNU and the men’s on ESPN.
The Webcasts, available from the Summit League Web site, require a high speed Internet connection and Microsoft Media Player 9 or greater, Macromedia Flash software, sound card, speakers, a screen resolution of 800x600 or 1024x768, and a Pentium 600Mhz or great for a Windows user or 800Mhz with OS X Version 10.1 or higher for Macs to view. For more information on the Webcast of the tournament, visit the Summit League Web site Live. For those with slower Internet connections, audio access is available for all Summit League games. Free audio broadcasts are available for OU’s Summit League tournament games are available from the OU Athletics Web site.
Download Oakland University’s fight song “OU Fight” and play it as you cheer on the Grizzlies in the tournament. The song can be played from the Web site, downloaded and saved to be loaded on a cell phone. Not sure of the lyrics? They are available, too.
Should the Grizzlies advance to the championship round of the tournament, watch The News at OU for information on watch parties. If either team moves on to a post-season tournament, that information also will be available from The News at OU. Alumni can follow OU Alumni Association sponsored events by visiting the OUAA Web site.
For more information on OU’s basketball teams, visit the Oakland University Athletics Web site.