On Feb. 16, the Grand Valley State University women’s basketball team (13-2) beat Davenport University (5-11) with a final score of 63-42.
The game marked the tenth victory for the Lakers over Davenport. GVSU has yet to lose a game against their GLIAC rival in the history of the women’s basketball program.
“Davenport is in the early stages of playing in the GLIAC again,” said coach Mike Williams. “They’re going to be a big team in this conference in the future. Obviously it’s been a good rivalry. These games have been very competitive.”
The game started off slow, as both GVSU and Davenport struggled to find consistency on offense. Both teams shot below 35% from the field before heading into halftime. Despite struggling to find easy buckets, GVSU held a lead over Davenport for the entire game. Heading into halftime, GVSU led 28-22.
GVSU found their groove during the second half of the contest. They continued playing tenacious defense like in the first half of the game, but a surge came on offense for the team. The Lakers offense was more aggressive and they were able to find easier looks. They grew their lead over Davenport with excellent outside shooting. The Lakers made half of their shots from beyond the three point mark in the second half.
“Davenport was getting shots by being aggressive and attacking the basket early in the game,” Williams said. “The shots we were getting were away from the basket in the first half. At halftime, I told the team that we needed to start playing downhill and be more aggressive in the post. That freed up some of our perimeter shots. We made some adjustments offensively that helped improve our shots in the second half of the game.”
Junior guard Brooke McKinley led the team with her hot shooting from the three. She finished the game with 22 points and two steals. She also made seven of her 13 three point attempts. McKinnley became the first Laker since 2016 to make seven three pointers in one game. Her impressive outing on offense helped her team win while other players struggled to find their stroke shooting the ball.
“I think our team is very hard to guard game to game,” McKinley said. “Any one of us can go off and lead the team in scoring. If other people aren’t hitting, then others need to step up. Today, that was Ellie Droste and I. We did our roles. Other people did their jobs on the defensive side of the ball and got rebounds.”
Droste ended the game with seven points and two assists. Junior guard Samantha Gehrls scored only three points, but she was pivotal on offense by facilitating the ball to open players. She finished the game with eight assists. Senior guard Qay Stanton also played a key role on defensive and grabbing boards. Stanton ended the game with eight rebounds, three steals and one block.
The team hopes to build on this midweek victory against Davenport this weekend against Michigan Tech University. Both teams sit atop the GLIAC standings and this series may tell who ends up winning the conference.