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 continues dominance, 5-0 in conference play

GVL/ Macayla Cramer

The Grand Valley State University Lakers women’s basketball team faced the Saginaw Valley State University Cardinals (4-11) on Thursday, Jan. 11 and the Wayne State University Warriors (10-5) on Saturday, Jan. 13, resulting in dominant wins in both matchups.

The Lakers were able to keep both teams under 50 points, with a score of 76-38 against the Cardinals and 81-48 against the Warriors. 

Now sitting at 14-1, GVSU continues to rank first place nationwide inboth the media and coaches polls as well as in the Great Lakes Intercollegiate Athletic Conference (GLIAC).

Opening the game with a strong start, the Lakers doubled SVSU in points, scoring 22 points against the Cardinals’ 11 in the first quarter. Redshirt junior guard Ellie Droste started the game with five points in the first 10 minutes and 10 points in the first half.

GVL / Macayla Cramer

With a halftime lead of 38-22, Laker’s redshirt sophomore guard Lexi Plitzuweit finished 2-for-2 from the three-point line, making two of her team’s five threes. GVSU shot 33% from beyond the arc in the first half and finished the game at just 28.6%.

Basketball is a game of runs and the beginning to the third quarter proved that to be the case. The Lakers went on a five-point run before SVSU answered with a six-point run of their own. GVSU then ended the third quarter scoring seven straight and stretching the lead to 20 points, taking further control of the game and impressively finishing the third quarter.

The Lakers continued to dominate in the fourth quarter, quadrupling the Cardinals in points, scoring 24.

One of the Lakers’ star players, redshirt junior forward Rylie Bisballe, scored 17 points while making all three of her attempts from beyond the 3-point line.

Bisballe attributed her success from three to “being more confident” and trusting that she could make those shots. 

The Lakers scored 36 points off turnovers while outrebounding the Cardinals 38 to 24, something GVSU women’s basketball head coach Mike Williams was impressed with.

“Our players did a great job advancing the ball before getting good shot opportunities,” Williams said.

GVSU then played WSU two days later and continued to dominate on both ends of the court against another GLIAC opponent. 

After taking the lead to start the game, the Lakers never looked back, more than doubling the Warriors’ output by putting up 20 points to WSU’s nine in the first quarter. 

After controlling what was mostly an out-of-hand 39-24 game going into the third quarter, GVSU and WSU traded their first handful of buckets, but the Warriors were no match for the ferocious Lakers’ defense that finished the game with 13 steals and three blocks.

GVSU put up almost triple the amount of points as the Warriors in the fourth quarter, scoring 28 points to 10. 

GVSU finished the game on a dominant 15-0 run to win with a final score of 81-48. It was the fifth time this season that the Lakers scored more than 80 points in a game.

Bisballe led GVSU offensively putting up a season high of 21 points.

 Additionally, Plitzuweit had her best performance of the season and one of the best in her career.

Plitzuweit got a season-high in points and rebounds, her first double-double of the season, tallying 14 points and 10 boards. She said that her teammates have instilled confidence in her, making her successful and helping her to improve throughout the season.

Plitzuweit’s increased role in the team is no surprise with the departure of guard Emily Spitzley, one of the top players in program history.

For Lakers fans, however, there has been a surprise over the last two to three weeks. A new addition has joined the team this winter as the Lakers look to continue their success.

Following what seemed to be the conclusion of her collegiate athletics, Senior GVSU Volleyball setter and Second-Team All-American, Sarah Wight, joined the GVSU women’s basketball team. She made her fourth appearance playing as a forward for the Lakers this season and is averaging two minutes a game. Wight has been serving as a depth piece for a team that needs it at the forward position and has scored a total of three points and three rebounds while being a much-needed safety valve and practice player for the Lakers.

After having a conversation with Williams following the conclusion of the volleyball season, Wight expressed interest in being added to the team. Due to her experience playing basketball in high school in Port Huron, Michigan, she saw it as a chance to contribute and continue her career as a student athlete at GVSU.

“This is just a really good opportunity for me. I didn’t know what my goal was going to be but I was willing to just call the team wherever else needed,” Wight said.

Wight is expected to continue to play for the rest of the season as the Lakers schedule gets increasingly difficult.

At 5-0 in conference, GVSU will hit the road for two away games, first taking on Lake Superior State University on Thursday, Jan. 18 at 5:30 p.m. before heading to play rival Ferris State University in Big Rapids, Michigan at 1 p.m. on Saturday, Jan. 20.

GVL / Macayla Cramer


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