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 gets two dominant GLIAC wins, but loses key player for season to knee injury

GVL / Macayla Cramer

The Grand Valley State University women’s basketball team dominated their two home games this week as they blew out the Purdue Northwest University Pride 92-53 in the “Coaches vs. Cancer” game, and then took care of the University of Wisconsin-Parkside Rangers 89-57 on Sawyers Day.

On Thursday, Jan. 25, the Lakers came out on top against the Pride in dominant fashion, but lost a key piece to their team for the rest of the season as Ellie Droste went down with an injury along the way.

Early on, it was a back-and-forth affair. GVSU and PNW matched baskets as both teams were efficient in a 22-18 first quarter, with the Lakers in front.

It was a different story in the second quarter as the Lakers exploded for 31 points on 62% shooting from the field. GVSU shut down PNW as they only scored 12 points on 40% from the field. GVSU also went on a 14-0 run early in the quarter, taking control of the game as they headed into halftime 53-30.

The Lakers had a 23-2 run that broke the game open, as redshirt sophomore Nicole Kamin scored nine points after starting the game with two in the first.

During what turned out to be a dominant second quarter is when something more impactful beyond a win or loss occurred.

The Lakers’ star point guard and leading scorer, Ellie Droste, went down with a right knee injury following a rushed layup attempt. Droste, a redshirt junior from Westphalia, Michigan, cut baseline on the play and landed with all of her weight on her right leg.

GVSU head coach Mike Williams said Droste will be out for the rest of the season, but felt that “a lot of players picked up the pieces” during the remainder of the game versus PNW and then against Parkside.

Droste led the team in scoring and minutes, averaging 22.6 minutes and close to 12 points per game, while shooting nearly 36% from three this season.

The Lakers bounced back to finish the second quarter leading 53-30 with similar results in the third. With Lexi Plitzuwiet, Molly Anderson and Avery Zeinstra filling Droste’s void, the Lakers continued to dominate the game with efficient offense and imposing defense.

GVSU held PNW to just 23 points in the second half and finished the game with a dominant 92-53 victory.

Kamin led the team in scoring with a career high 20 points, shooting 8-for-10 from the floor. Kamin attributed practice and teamwork to her performance.

“I think it’s important to keep attacking (the defense) and going down,” Kamin said. “Credit to my teammates, they found me in transition multiple times. So it’s not just me, it’s everyone.”

GVSU head coach Mike Williams was happy with how his team performed in the win, especially his bench as they outscored the Pride 45-17.

“I think it’s a game where our depth did a good job and we tried to keep a lot of players in there and to give them minutes to keep them really sharp, so we can be fresh,” Williams said. “We got on the offensive glass, got out in transition, ran the floor, we did a good job of hunting shots.”

On Saturday, Jan. 27, GVSU faced Parkside on “Sawyers Day,” where the Lakers wore their “fauxback” jerseys, new jerseys modeled to look vintage, and flannel patterned warmups.

In the first quarter, GVSU was able to start the game with an 8-2 run before extending their lead to 17-4 finish out the quarter.

The second was a much more even ballgame as the Lakers were put to the test by the Rangers comeback attempt. Still, GVSU’s 13 point lead carried over as both squads were evenly matched at 17 points scored in the second quarter.

The game went to halftime at 34-21, with the Lakers’ commanding start making all the difference. 

GVSU began the second half much like they started the first and jumped out to a 10-2 run early on in the third.

They were led by junior guard Abrie Cabana, who had 14 points in the quarter coming from four 3-pointers and a couple free throws. After a cold shooting first half for GVSU, Cabana helped her squad score 30 points in the third quarter.

The Lakers kept up the scoring in the fourth, this time splashing home seven 3-pointers and scoring 25 points to keep Parkside at bay, winning 89-57. They finished the second half with a combined 13 made 3-pointers on 21 attempts. This was after going 1-for-13 from three in the first two quarters.

GVL / Macayla Cramer

Bisballe finished the game with a team 19 points, nine rebounds, and knocked down a career high three 3-pointers, while Cabana finished the game with 17 points and five 3-pointers.

Cabana credited practice time and improved confidence for her third quarter explosion in the win.

“I’ve been really working on my three point shot, just getting shots up and shooting them more confidently,” Cabana said. “If we shoot it confidently, they’re gonna go in eventually. So it was cool to get us going and my teammates took it from there.”

With nearly a week between games, Cabana and GVSU will hit the road to take on Davenport University on Saturday, Feb. 3 at 1 p.m. The Lakers’ will try to keep the momentum going after losing Droste for the season.

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