GVSU thrashes Wisconsin-Parkside to open GLIAC play with a victory

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GVSU thrashes Wisconsin-Parkside to open GLIAC play with a victory

Senior  Ben Lubitz passes to freshman forward in the post in a game against Wisconsin Parkside. GVSU won the game, 73-47.

Senior Ben Lubitz passes to freshman forward in the post in a game against Wisconsin Parkside. GVSU won the game, 73-47.

Caleb Worpel

Senior Ben Lubitz passes to freshman forward in the post in a game against Wisconsin Parkside. GVSU won the game, 73-47.

Caleb Worpel

Caleb Worpel

Senior Ben Lubitz passes to freshman forward in the post in a game against Wisconsin Parkside. GVSU won the game, 73-47.

Kellen Voss, Sports Editor

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GVSU thrashes Wisconsin-Parkside to open GLIAC play with a victory

By Kellen Voss ([email protected])

The last time the GVSU men’s basketball team faced off against the Wisconsin Parkside Rangers, they won on a buzzer beater from Jeremiah Ferguson to bounce in to clinch a spot in the NCAA tournament.

While Ferguson was out for the second game in a row with a leg injury, the Lakers were in no need of a buzzer beater to beat the Rangers this time around, winning on 90’s night, thrashing the Rangers, 73-47. With the win, GVSU improves to 6-1 on the year and 1-0 in the GLIAC.

Senior Jayden Hodgson, who finished the night with 13 points and seven assists, said that this offense is now more comfortable thanks to the chemistry built in practice these past few weeks.

“It’s always hard losing your starting point guard,” Hodgson said. “But we’re all college basketball players, and it was just a matter of time before, and we all need to step up, and it’s just a matter of getting adjusted to everyone else.”

The bench was a key factor in this blowout victory, as the second unit combined to contribute 22 points and 18 rebounds. 18 of those points and five of those rebounds went to senior guard Ben Lubitz, who led the team in scoring and was really feeling it from deep, making 60 percent of his three-point shots.

“It was one of those games where you just try to find your opportunities to get your shots in the right places,” Lubitz said. “Luckily tonight, we had a lot of situations where I was able to get a lot of shots in the right spots and get to a good comfort level.”

Lubitz wasn’t the only one who contributed off the bench, as GVSU coach Ric Wesley wanted to highlight the efforts of redshirt junior Steven Lloyd (2 points, 3 rebounds) and freshman Marius Grazulis (2 points, 6 rebounds).

“Steve is our energy guy off the bench,” Wesley said. “And we decided to throw Mar into the fire tonight, and he did well for his first outing. As time goes on, having an extra body inside is going to help us.”

This didn’t turn into a blowout until late in the first half, as it was a back-and-forth game for the first 15 minutes of gameplay. When the Lakers were struggling offensively, Hodgson took the senior leadership role and huddled the guys on the floor together.

“I was just saying team things in there (in those huddles),” Hodgson said. “What we need to do defensively, what we missed, what we ran offensively, just stuff like that, reiterating basic things like that.”

There are obviously a lot of positive takeaways from this 26-point victory, but Coach Wesley stills feels like this team needs to work on talking more on defense and working through the flow of the offense in the next game.

“Our communication needs to be better,” Wesley said. “We had a few defensive breakdowns where we didn’t talk on screens. Offensively it’s always the same thing, we got to move our body and continue to move the ball even when we’re tired.”

GVSU has a chance to double their GLIAC wins on Saturday, Dec. 7, as they have another home match-up against the Purdue Northwest Pride. That game tips off at 3 p.m.