Even though IPFW women’s coach Chris Paul had the best seat in Memorial Coliseum, he still had trouble grasping what he had just witnessed in his Mastodons’ 67-47 Summit League loss to Oakland.
“I’m very disappointed,” Paul said. “That’s not IPFW. That’s not what we teach. That’s not who we are. That’s not who we’ve been the last two conference games.
“I’m not even quite sure what I saw there in the second half. We obviously have to continue to make a commitment to play defense, and we will.”
What defense there was in the first half, when IPFW led 27-25 at the break, stayed within the locker room for the second half, as Oakland (8-8, 4-3 Summit League) shot 59 percent from the floor and scored 42 points to blow out the Mastodons (6-11, 4-3).
Although IPFW was playing without two starters, including 6-foot-2 senior center Stephanie Rosado, Paul wasn’t about to let the rest of his team use her absence as an excuse.
“We’re better than this,” Paul said. “I know people are going to say we had two starters out. So be it. We’re still better than this.”
While point guard Rachel Mauk was out with a toe injury, it was the loss of Rosado to a knee injury that had an effect at both ends. Rosado leads the team in points (13.3) and rebounds (5.0), and has been the defensive force in the middle, where IPFW was particularly exploited against the much-bigger Oakland team, which features 6-foot-4 center Brittany Carnago and 5-11 Bethany Watterworth, who led the Grizzlies with 22 points.