GVSU basketball upsets Ashland, advances in GLIAC tournament

<p>Mens Basketball 2-23-19. Dan Pacheco/GVL</p>

Mens Basketball 2-23-19. Dan Pacheco/GVL

Kellen Voss

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The Grand Valley State men’s basketball team were able to claim victory in Ashland on Tuesday, March 5, as they were able to clip the wings of the Eagles to win 72-61.

GVSU was able to secure the victory dominantly, as they started off the game on a 9-0 run and never looked back. 

Despite Jake Van Tubbergen leading all players with 27 points, assistant coach Taylor Johnson stressed how well the Lakers played as a team. The lack of playing together has plagued the Lakers in the past, but they’re picking the perfect time of year to start playing as a unit.

“It was a great team win,” Johnson said. “We had 10 guys play and they all contributed in their own ways. It was a great mentality”

Team defense was key to the win, as Johnson was not only proud of his guards for playing fast and being aggressive, but also highlighted the defensive play of big men Isaiah Brock and Kindred Williams, who held reigning All-GLIAC second team post player Drew Noble to 11 points.

Johnson felt that the team was energized to play after winning in Ashland earlier this year on Feb. 2, as the team clearly played with more certainty.

“We held their quick little guards to few points, and Brock and Williams did a great job on the big guy,” Johnson said. “It was a great vibe, since we won there last time. We just played a lot of confidence”

After this win, the Lakers will advance to the GLIAC semifinals, hosted by No. 1 seed Davenport. GVSU will face Wisconsin-Parkside at 5:30 on Saturday, March 9. The winner of that will face the winner of the other semifinal game between Davenport and Northern Michigan, with the championship scheduled for Sunday, March 10 at 3 p.m.

GVSU will be looking to get revenge on the Rangers, as the last time these two faced off, the Lakers lost in overtime in excruciating fashion. GVSU will look to use that loss to motivate them to continue this quality play, as the team has won five of their past six games.

“Ever since that overtime loss to Parkside, we’ve been dreaming of playing them again,” Johnson said. “They are a lot more motion based with a lot of off-ball screens, so we just gotta communicate, keep our heads on a swivel and play confident.”