By BRIAN LESTER
The opportunity to start 6-0 for the first time since the 2001-02 season was there for the University of Findlay women’s basketball team.
For the first time this season, though, the Oilers were unable to pull through in a tight game. For the first time this season, they ended up on the losing side of the scoreboard, falling 59-49 to Northern Michigan Saturday afternoon at the Berry Events Center.
It’s not easy playing on the road, especially on a trip to the Upper Peninsula, but for the Oilers to be heading home with a split on this trip is huge.
UF can take pride in the fact that it beat Michigan Tech on Thursday night and that sitting at 5-1 isn’t a bad place to be.
UF entered this season with high expectations, and those expectations can still be met.
One loss isn’t going to ruin what has been a pretty good season up to this point.
The Oilers have played hard in every game, especially on defense where they have forced 122 turnovers, including 74 on steals, and they have gotten good production from their older players.
Former Riverdale star Kayla Brown has been lighting up the scoreboard all season. She only scored 12 against NMU, but my guess is there won’t be too many days like that for Brown the rest of the year.
Tai Dotson, Ashley Andrews and Kendra Elam, the other veterans on this team, have all contributed in different ways and a total of 10 players are averaging at least 4 points per outing.
The Oilers have an opportunity to be one of the top teams in the Great Lakes Intercollegiate Athletic Conference this season. They have an opportunity to return to the NCAA tournament for the first time since the 2009-10 campaign.
A loss to NMU on a Saturday afternoon in early December isn’t going to keep UF from being a good team.
The Oilers have a lot of potential and plenty of time to live up to it.
Follow me on Twitter @BLester1993 or send me an email at firstname.lastname@example.org.