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 men’s basketball wins at home vs Findlay, loses away at Hillsdale

Courtesy GVSU Athletics

Now sitting at 2-3, the early season outcomes have been inconsistent for the Grand Valley State University Lakers men’s basketball team, whose three losses have all come by single digits and two wins by double digits.

After a huge 105-63 victory over the Quincy University Hawks in the week prior, GVSU faced the Findlay University Oilers (1-3) and the Hillsdale College Chargers (4-1). The Lakers beat Findlay by a score of 81-70 on Nov. 21 before losing to Hillsdale 76-69 on Nov. 25.

The Oilers had previously lost to the Hawks 71-65, a team that the Lakers had a major blowout win against, a possible tell that GVSU would come out with a win over Findlay.

Fifth-year forward Marius Grazulis said that he does not concern himself with comparing opponents’ results.

“I think in Division II basketball there’s so much parody where it is so even. Any team can beat any team on any given day. You can’t worry about what the other teams are doing. You have to worry about doing all the steps that you work on every practice, and it’ll take care of itself,” Grazulis said.

Grazulis was nearly unstoppable and the main factor in the Lakers’ win, putting up a dominant 23 points and 19 rebounds. The next closest player was sophomore guard Mason Docks, who had 15 points in the win.

In the first half, the Lakers came out with a rough start as the Oilers took the first basket of the game and proceeded to go on a 10-2 run before GVSU picked up their scoring to end the drought. 

The Oilers came to play, maintaining the lead in the first half of the game until a fast-break dunk from sophomore point guard Britain Harris tied the game with 5:43 remaining before halftime at 25-all.

It was back and forth from there on with GVSU snagging a 39-37 lead heading into the break.

The Lakers opened the half on an 11-3 run, holding onto their lead for the rest of the way with the help of Docks who went two-for-two from the three-point line in the final 20 minutes. 

“We were just really out of our rhythm at the start of the game. So once we started settling in at the end of the first half, we came out in the second halfway more comfortable,” Docks said.

GVSU was able to finish off the game and win 80-71 before Thanksgiving break, leading the Lakers’ second-year head coach Cornell Mann reflect on what he was thankful for.

“I’m thankful for the opportunity to be the head coach at Grand Valley, and I don’t take that lightly. I’m thankful for the high-character individuals we have in our program because it makes it easy to coach, and I wouldn’t have it no other way,” Mann said.

Following the three days off, a matchup with Hillsdale would prove to be a battle as GVSU went on to lose a tightly contested matchup.

The first half was a back-and-forth battle that finished with the Lakers up 30-26, as it was a defensive effort that held GVSU to just one-for-seven from three-point land and 44.83% shooting overall. 

A slow start to the second saw Hillsdale go on a 25-8 run, taking a 51-38 lead in the first eight minutes. Still, the Lakers battled back with the help of Harris and Grazulis, the team’s leading scorers in the matchup.

Harris tallied 20 points, five rebounds and one steal, making it his third consecutive game in double figures. At a towering 6’11”, Grazulis put up another double-double, his third of the season, with 18 points and 10 rebounds. 

After splitting the week’s games, GVSU will come back home to play a National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics program, the Rochester College Warriors, on Nov. 27 at 7 p.m. in Allendale, Michigan at the GVSU Fieldhouse Arena. The Warriors boast a 7-0 record.

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