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 wins big over LSSU, lose rivalry matchup with Ferris

Courtesy GVSU Athletics

The No. 1 Grand Valley State University Lakers women’s basketball team split their two road matchups in a dominant 69-25 win over Lake Superior State University on Thursday, Jan. 18 and a tough 71-65 loss versus their arch rivals, the No. 9 Ferris State University Bulldogs, just two days later.

The upset by Ferris State handed GVSU their first loss of the season against a Division II opponent. It was the second time the Bulldogs have done so this campaign, when in December they handed Ashland University, the defending national champions, their first and only defeat to date. Going into Thursday’s matchup against LSSU, Lakers’ head coach Mike Williams knew that his team could not overlook their opponent before playing a very good Ferris State team.

“We talked a lot about that, we don’t overlook anyone,” Williams said. “We come to play every game just to get better.”

After a slow start where play had become stagnant and GVSU went down 6-2 with nearly three minutes left in the first quarter, redshirt sophomore Macy Bisballe drained a 3-pointer that led to a 10-0 GVSU run to end the quarter. Points were hard to come by early in the game for both sides as GVSU led LSSU by a score of 23-16 at halftime. Following the low-scoring first half, Williams felt like the Lakers were pressing and reminded his team to relax at the halftime break.

“I thought we were rushed a little bit,” Williams said.

GVSU’s response to begin the second half could not have been any better. The Lakers were firing on all cylinders out of the gate. The electric start to the half was sparked by redshirt junior Ellie Droste, who scored 10 straight points. Droste’s fantastic outburst snowballed the GVSU offense into a 21-0 run to begin the third quarter, where the Lakers allowed only two points.

“Our players really locked in,” Williams said. “They were on point defensively. We understood what they liked to do and I thought we did a good job taking those things away.”

The Lakers dominance on the defensive end carried into the fourth quarter and they eventually cruised to a 69-25 win over LSSU.

Following what ended up being a big win, Saturday’s matchup with Ferris State was a whirlwind from the start. At the end of a back-and-forth first quarter, the Lakers led by just one point, taking the lead on two free throws by sophomore Avery Zeinstra. The second quarter was a tight, as both teams continued trading several baskets before things turned for the worse for GVSU. With just over four minutes left in the second quarter, the Bulldogs went on a 14-2 run to end the half, giving Ferris State a 40-27 lead at halftime.

The momentum the Bulldogs created carried over to the second half as they eventually extended the lead to 20 points during the third quarter. However, GVSU did not lay down. Behind their leading scorer in the game, the Lakers found success from sophomore guard Nicole Kamin who scored seven points during the fourth and helped cut the lead to single digits. Then, after a huge 3-pointer from redshirt junior Rylie Bisballe and two free throws from redshirt sophomore guard Lexi Plitzuweit, the lead was down to only three. 

“It’s the never give up mentality,” Kamin said. “You’re down 20, that’s a big gap, let’s keep fighting and try to get this win.”

However, time was not on GVSU’s side. After a couple free throws from Ferris State the Lakers ultimately fell 71-65. This was GVSU’s first loss of the season against a Division II opponent, having dropped a game to Division I No. 18 ranked Ohio State University earlier this season.  

Williams and his team are ready to move forward, looking to improve from the loss.

“It was a good test for us,” Williams said. “Now we can evaluate and move forward.”

Kamin said he feels the loss will ultimately strengthen the Lakers, while also looking ahead to her team’s next matchup.

“I think there is a lot to learn from this game,” Kamin said. “This will be good for us and will give us a chance to bounce back.”

With a home stand that begins on Thursday, Jan. 25 at 6 p.m. GVSU will take on Purdue University Northwest in the Lakers’ annual “Coaches vs Cancer” Pink Out game at the GVSU Fieldhouse Arena, before playing the University of Wisconsin-Parkside on Saturday, Jan. 27 at 1 p.m. for “Sawyer’s Day.”

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