Saturday, March 16, 2002
OU ends season at NCAA Tournament
Oakland University's women's basketball team made its first-ever NCAA Tournament appearance Saturday, March 16, but ended its season with a 63-38 loss to Vanderbilt, one of the top teams in the nation.
OU, the only team from Michigan in the 2002 Women's NCAA Basketball Tournament, shot only 32 percent (16-50) in the game at Memorial Gymnasium in Nashville, Tenn., Vanderbilt's home court. The Golden Grizzlies end the season with a 17-14 record. See the photos from the first-round game of the NCAA Tournament.
“We had a tremendous season and these players have nothing to be ashamed of,” head coach Beckie Francis said. "We represented Oakland well and hope to be back in the tournament next year.”
Vanderbilt, the number one seed in the Midwest Region, controlled the entire contest and was led by Chantelle Wilson, a 6-foot-6 junior center and All-American, who scored 28 points and made 13 rebounds. The win gives Vanderbilt a 28-6 overall record.
Leading Oakland was junior guard Katie Wolfe and senior forward Sarah Judd. Wolfe ended the game with 18 points and four rebounds, while Judd scored 14 points and grabbed six rebounds.
OU, the number 16 seed in the Midwest Region, scored the first two points of the game but witnessed a quick 12-0 run by Vanderbilt. At halftime, the Golden Grizzlies trailed 30-17. OU shot 27 percent from the floor in the first half (7-26) compared to Vanderbilt's 43 percent (12-28).
The Golden Grizzlies came out strong after the half as Judd blocked Anderson and Wolfe nailed a three-pointer, closing the gap 30-20. OU then committed three straight turnovers that Vanderbilt converted into six points in the midst of a 14-0 run as Oakland was put in a hole, 36-22, with 15:17 left in the game. The Commodores never let OU back in, defeating the Golden Grizzlies 63-38.
“Vanderbilt really locked up on Judd and Wolfe nicely," Francis said. "Chantelle Anderson just took over in the second half. You can see why they are a great inside-outside team.”
OU's women’s basketball team is only the second team in OU history since moving to Division I athletics three years ago to qualify for an NCAA post-season tournament. Last November, the women’s soccer team became the first OU team to achieve this milestone.
The Golden Grizzlies earned a trip to the women's NCAA Basketball Tournament by winning their first-ever Mid-Continent Conference Tournament title.
After finishing in a tie for second place in the Mid-Con regular-season standings, OU, the second-seeded team in the Mid-Con Tournament, defeated No. 7 IUPUI (63-53), No. 6 Oral Roberts (74-71) and top seed Valparaiso (52-40) to capture the Mid-Con Tournament championship. See the photos from the championship game.
Fans can listen to webcasts of the NCAA game and of other games this past season by visiting the OU Athletics Web site. The site also contains a team roster, statistics and profiles of the players and coaches.
You also can find out more about the Golden Grizzlies and their "Road to the NCAA Tournament" by visiting the Web page on The News @ OU that offers stories and photos from the past season.