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

No. 1 GV women’s basketball obliterates competition over winter break

Courtesy GVSU Athletics

The No. 1 ranked Grand Valley State University women’s basketball team moved to 12-1 in the season after two home victories over conference opponents Michigan Technological University (5-6) 74-30 on Thursday, Jan. 4 and a 64-47 win over Northern Michigan University on Saturday, Jan. 6.

GVSU’s only loss this season came to the No. 20 ranked team in Division I, Ohio State University, by a score of 73-49 on December 15. The Lakers’ head coach Mike Williams said there are many benefits to scheduling such a tough opponent.

“To go down there to see how we stack up against a top 15 team showed our players (that) at the end of the day, we can hang with that level of competition,” Williams said.

Coming off of a dominant 85-36 win against Thomas More University on Dec. 19 and a massive 127-45 win against Rochester University on Dec. 30, the Lakers looked to open the new year by building onto their recent success in their match-up against Michigan Tech’s Huskies.

It was the official start of Great Lakes Intercollegiate Athletic Conference (GLIAC) play and the Huskies scored the first basket of the game, but from then on, it was all GVSU. The Lakers went on an 11-0 run, getting five points from redshirt junior Rylie Bisballe and four more from star guard Ellie Droste. Later in the quarter, redshirt sophomore Megan Crow would close out the scoring with two layups, putting the Lakers up 17-4.

In the second quarter leading 21-8, the Lakers offense went from hot to boiling when Bisballe ignited a 15-0 GVSU run that put the Lakers up 36-8 at the half.

The Lakers carried the momentum they garnered in the first half into the second, as the team went on another 12-0 run which extended the Lakers lead to 53-10. Midway through the third, GVSU was obliterating MTU. The Huskies tried to respond with five points of their own, but the Lakers ignited another run to end the quarter, leading 61-15.

The Huskies doubled their point total from the first three quarters in the fourth, but the Lakers would close the game out winning 74-30.

Ellie Droste led the team in scoring with 13 points, while Rylie Bisballe and Megan Crow each had 12. All 10 players on the Lakers’ roster found themselves in the score book. Williams said getting that many players on the board shows how dynamic his squad is.

“It goes to show that our team has a lot of balance, great depth and a lot of players that can play. We can call on anyone and they are ready to go and be able to play and do well for us,” Williams said.

The Lakers looked to close out another successful weekend with their match-up against the GLIAC-leading NMU Wildcats. 

The first quarter opened with a tug-of-war battle for the lead with Northern Michigan holding a 14-9 lead at the first timeout. Bisballe had scored all nine of the Laker’s points, keeping their offense afloat. The Wildcats hit a three, coming out of the timeout to take a nine-point lead, and led 23-16 to the end of the first quarter.

GVSU opened the second quarter with a momentum-shifting 6-0 run that brought them back within one. The Lakers’ defense took control, only allowing 24 points the rest of the game. Freshman Ava Scanlon hit the first of her two free throws to give the Lakers a 26-25 lead. NMU answered, ending the first half on a 6-2 run to retake the lead 32-31.

Four straight points out of the half by Bisballe would give back GVSU the lead and from that point forward, they wouldn’t give it up. The Wildcats would pull within five, but that was put to rest when the Lakers’ Abrie Cabana hit a three pointer to push the score to 50-42 to end the third quarter. The Lakers would grow the lead by 10 in the fourth quarter, ultimately winning 64-47.

Rylie Bisballe led the Lakers with 16 points– a season high for her. Bisballe said the development of her game is thanks to Coach Williams.

“Our coach has been focusing on urgency and I think that helped me to be more confident in myself and the decisions I make on the court,” Bisballe said.

Nearing the halfway point in their season, the Lakers aren’t looking too far ahead. The team is taking it one game at a time, as they host Saginaw Valley State University on Jan. 11 and Wayne State University Jan. 13.

“We want to win, we are taking it one game at a time and need to focus on staying together as a team,” Bisballe said.

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