The Canisius College women's basketball team lost 52-51 to Oakland University in the Koessler Athletic Center on Tuesday evening, falling to 1-3 on the season.
Senior Ashley Wilkes had her second double-double of the season, leading Canisius with 11 points and 11 rebounds in 24 minutes off the bench. Junior Jen Lennox had eight points and five rebounds, with three blocks in 15 minutes. The Griffs couldn't overcome a season-high 22 turnovers in the game or 4-for-10 shooting from the free-throw line.
"I was really proud of our physical effort and thought we played good defense, but we had too many mental lapses on the offensive end. Our offensive execution just hasn't been sharp," Canisius coach Terry Zeh said. "Brooke made two great plays at the end of the game, and her last shot was halfway down. I don't know if she could have gotten us a better look."
Both teams started slowly from the field, combining for 15 turnovers in the opening eight minutes of the game. Oakland scored eight straight points to go up 14-7 after a 3-pointer from Elizabeth Hamlet. Canisius came back with a reverse layup from junior Jamie Ruttle and a mid-range jumper Allison Braun to cut the deficit to 14-11 with 9:26 left in the half. Oakland led 20-16 after a 3-pointer from Olivia Nash, but the Griffs would tie the game after two free throws from Lennox and a turnaround jumper Wilkes.
The teams stayed close throughout the second half, which featured seven lead changes and 10 ties. A jumper from Wilkes and a layup from Ruttle gave Canisius a 41-38 lead with 8:39 left in the half. A 3-pointer from sophomore Kayla Hoohuli put Canisius up 44-40, but a 3-pointer from Annemarie Hamlet and a layup from Peyton Apsey gave the lead back to Oakland with 6:11 left.
The Griffs came back on the next possession with a layup from Wilkes off a nice pass by freshman Tiahana Mills to go up 46-45. The Golden Grizzlies held Canisius without a basket for nearly four minutes, going up 48-46 on a layup by Julia Vestin. The Griffs tied the game with two minutes left on a mid-range jumper from Braun. Oakland came right back on the next possession and took the lead on a layup from Annemarie Hamlet.
The Griffs turned the ball over on the next two possessions, and Oakland went up 52-48 with two free throws Victoria Lipscomb. Sophomore Brooke Angelos came down and drained a 3-pointer with 10.3 seconds remaining to get Canisius within one. After Zakiya Minifee missed the front end of a one-and-one, Canisius came down the court looking for the gamewinner. Angels was able to get free and her pull-up jumper from the free-throw line was halfway down before rimming out as the buzzer sounded.
Nash led Oakland (3-1) with 15 points on 6-for-12 shooting. Annemarie Hamlet had 13 points as Oakland shot 8-for-18 in the game.
Canisius plays its next two games away from home, starting with a Nov. 27 game at Binghamton. Game time is set for 7 p.m.
Notes: Canisius and Oakland played for the first time in program history... The Griffs outscored the Golden Grizzlies 20-0 on second-chance points and 20-16 in the paint... No Golden Griffins played more than 25 minutes with six Griffs playing 22 or more minutes and nine Griffs playing 15 minutes or more... Lennox had three blocks on the day and now has 17 blocks in the last 16 games... Junior Jen Morabito made her first start of the season... The Griffs lost by one point for the first time since Feb. 6, 2010, in a 72-71 loss at Loyola.