Local Women’s Teams Prepare For Motor City Madness
By Seth J. Walker
The Motor City Madness is now less than 24 hours away as of press time. Both the Oakland Golden Grizzlies and Detroit Mercy Titans women’s basketball teams will begin their journey tomorrow as the seventh and ninth seeds respectively.
For awhile, it appeared that the Golden Grizzlies and would be facing each other for the third time this season. That’s until the Golden Grizzlies won at Milwaukee for their third win in four games, and clinched the seventh seed, thanks also to Northern Kentucky’s loss to IUPUI.
“It would had been a great game,” Titans head coach Bernard Scott said. “It would had been game, Oakland took care of business and was able to move up a seed.”
Instead, the two local teams will play in separate games tomorrow in the first round. Oakland plays 10th seed UIC at noon tomorrow, while Detroit Mercy plays ninth seed Northern Kentucky after that at 2:30.
Oakland’s junior guard Taylor Jones won the Horizon League Sixth Player of the Year and senior guard Taylor Gleason has been named to the All-Academic team. The Golden Grizzlies won both of their regular season meetings against UIC.
Detroit Mercy’s freshman forward Lexey Tobel was named to the Horizon League All-Freshman team and senior guard Nicole Urbanick joins Gleason on the All-Academic team. The Titans lost both of their regular season meetings against Northern Kentucky.
What They’re Saying
Bernard Scott, Head Coach, Detroit Mercy on bringing a family-like atmosphere to Titans- “I’ve been a par of five programs before I came here. I’ve been a part of programs that were really tight nit. I been a part of programs that were far apart and you could really tell the difference, so I knew when I was taking over a program, I’m going to be about family and making sure everyone was together, making sure everyone every one felt comfortable and could be their selves. So that’s what our program is really about; just really trying to make sure the players get along with each other, players get along with staff. That they feel like they can be their selves whether they’re around their teammates or the coaching staff and I think that makes for a good experience for them, playing here.”
Brianne Cohen, senior forward, Detroit Mercy on her biggest challenge- “The biggest challenge, I think, was facing double teams more this year. I was not prepared for the amount of double teams I got, so how to pass out of those double teams while still being aggressive and trying to look to score was very difficult, I think. But as the season went on, I think that towards the end, I got more confident. My turnovers got down, which is good, and (I) played through it.”
Jeff Tungate, Head Coach, Oakland on his players getting to play at Little Caesar’s Arena- “I know some of them have been down to some different events throughout the past year. Most of them haven’t seen it yet. It’s an unbelievable facility. I know they’re going to be absolutely in awe when they walk in there tomorrow. So I’m glad we get to walk in there the day before we play because it’s an unbelievable sight to see.”
Leah Somerfield, Senior Forward, Oakland on being physical in the post- “My dad always tells me “You can be a nice girl off the court, but on the court, it’s a whole new purpose. You have to be a whole new person. People are out hurt you, if you don’t prepare yourself, then you could get hurt, so you need to toughen up when you’re out on the court, and you have to back up your teammates, no matter what happens.”
Lexey Tobel, Freshman Forward, Detroit Mercy on teammate Ashley Miller- “She’s a good teammate. She’s always there to pump everyone up, definitely. She helps me a lot, on the court, teaching me defense. I’m really bad at defense and she has helped me a lot. We usually guard each other more often (during practice), and she’s helped me develop into more of a defensive post player, and I think that’s helped me a lot. She’s always pumping everybody up in the locker room, off the court, on the court, everywhere.
Nicole Urbanick, Senior Guard, Detroit Mercy on playing Northern Kentucky- “We played them a couple of weeks ago and it was a really close game; came down to the last minute. So I think that we’re able to win this game, for sure.”
Taylor Gleason, Senior Guard, Oakland beating Milwaukee in regular season finale heading into tournament- “We actually had a lot of people stepping up in that last game, which is really promising, so our depth is going to help carry us through the tournament as we keep winning games. That really big for us.”
Taylor Jones, Junior Guard, Oakland on her role as sixth player- “I don’t really care about starting. I feel like as long as I’m contributing to the team, it’s alright. As long as we’re winning, like I said, everything is alright.”