The Student News Site of Grand Valley State University

Grand Valley Lanthorn

The Student News Site of Grand Valley State University

Grand Valley Lanthorn

The Student News Site of Grand Valley State University

Grand Valley Lanthorn

GV women’s basketball skates by Northwood 75-71

Courtesy GVSU Athletics

Following a blowout win against Central State University and an undefeated start to the season, the No. 2 ranked Grand Valley State University women’s basketball team (5-0) traveled to Midland, Michigan, where they faced the Northwood University Timberwolves (2-2). 

GVSU would sneak out a close win, 75-71, in a tight match where they were led by five players who scored in double digits.

Lakers head coach Mike Williams has amassed a 214-44 record, along with taking the team to numerous NCAA Division II National Tournaments, and knows what it will take to be as good as his past teams.

“We accept every day as a new opportunity to continue getting better,” Williams said. “We preach to just be your best. We want to make sure we are doing the little things in practice, so they become a habit for us.”

Out of the gate, redshirt sophomore guard Nicole Kamin would put up a quick eight points, keeping GVSU ahead in the opening minutes of the game.

Scouting our opponents we need to know our personnel and going over how we are going to guard. We knew Northwood could shoot the ball and push it up the floor,” Kamin said.

Both teams traded the lead back and forth early on. With Kamin’s help, the Lakers would still be ahead 16-15 over Northwood at the end of the first quarter. Despite GVSU’s top ranking, the Timberwolves would keep the score close throughout the entire match forcing many late turnovers and getting crucial rebounds.

The Lakers, however, would still win the rebound battle with the presence of redshirt junior Rylie Bisballe. At 6’2”, Bisballe would account for 10 of her team’s 37 rebounds. She was also one of the five players that scored at least 10 points in the match.

In the closing seconds of the first half, the Timberwolves would find themselves trailing by five, but a half-court buzzer-beater by Northwood’s Taylor Maizie shortened the Lakers’ lead. Going into the half, GVSU was up just 38-36, their closest match of the year thus far.

GVSU would start to pull away with a 6-0 run out of the half, but Northwood responded with a three-pointer of their own. Once one team would begin to control the game, the other team would find ways to turn the tides. The Lakers would maintain a six-point lead after three quarters, but Northwood was every bit still in it.

Heading into the final quarter, GVSU would hold a 9-point lead. Northwood would continue to battle for the lead, and eventually, would take it with a three-pointer with two minutes left on the clock. Now, being down 69-68, the Lakers would take charge and score seven straight, giving them the late lead and finishing the game off at 75-71.

With a roster that returned several players from last year’s elite eight-team, GVSU was able to hang on late in a gritty game against the Timberwolves. Williams believes the growth of the Lakers’ returning players, particularly the upperclassmen, will help lead this edition of his team going forward.

“Our upperclassmen have really grown over the years. They are the epitome of what our program embodies. They are learning to not only lead by example but vocally as well. I believe they have the respect of our younger players,” Williams said.

With the win, GVSU has now begun their season 5-0 for the third consecutive season, and for the fourth overall time under Williams.

“Our players are grinding it out and finding ways to win against good competition. We are hoping to finish in the top half of our conference, which is never easy because of the good teams in the GLIAC,” Willaims said.

After playing in much closer early season games than last season’s squad, Kamin said it is important to stay focused.

The expectation for this season is to take it one game at a time. Play every game our hardest and grow as a team each game. We have a lot of potential but that doesn’t guarantee us anything. We need to buy into the little things,” Kamin said.

The Lakers will now return home to Allendale, Michigan for their next match against D’Youville University (1-3) on Saturday, Dec. 2 at 1 p.m. as they will look to improve to 6-0.

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