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 squeaks out win over Wayne State, blows out Saginaw Valley State

Courtesy GVSU Athletics

The Grand Valley State University Lakers women’s basketball team continued their road trip, squeaking by the Wayne State University Warriors 63-62 on Thursday, Feb. 8. The Lakers then dismantled the Saginaw Valley State University Cardinals 78-54 on Saturday, Feb. 10.

With those two wins, GVSU improved their record to 20-2 overall and 11-1 record in conference play, while having a road record of 7-2.

In the first quarter against WSU, the Lakers got off to a quick start with an 11-0 lead. Junior forward Rylie Bisballe scored the first four points of the game. Bisballe and the Lakers’ defense were dominant early as the Warriors struggled to get on the board.

WSU scored nine points in the first quarter on 16% shooting and turned it over six times, while the Lakers scored 22 points on 60% shooting.

Things flipped in the second quarter as GVSU struggled to score. The Lakers shot 30% from the field and allowed a 9-0 scoring run, dropping their lead to four.

GVSU responded with a couple of baskets of their own before the Warriors made another rally and eventually took the lead for a short period of time near the end of the half. The back-and-forth play resulted in the Lakers leading 33-31 at halftime.

Coming out of the break, both teams continued to battle in the third.

Lakers sophomore guard Nicole Kamin splashed home a 3-pointer, putting her team in front by three points with four minutes left in the quarter. GVSU clutched to a 49-45 advantage heading into the fourth.

It was the same story in the fourth quarter with both teams once again going back and forth with each other, with Bisballe as a key difference-maker down the stretch. Bisballe scored a clutch seven points in the quarter and grabbed some key defensive rebounds in a tight matchup.

With a minute left in the game, Kamin secured the victory for the Lakers with a layup. A Bisballe steal wrapped things up just before the buzzer, a 63-62 GVSU win.

GVSU head coach Mike Williams was proud of his team for how they handled the close game.

“We came out with great urgency and playing with confidence, and then I think we hit a bit of a lull in the second and third quarter,” Williams said. “I thought we were very hesitant on both ends of the ball. I thought defensively we were standing around and not rotating on the backside, but then I thought we finished the third quarter strong and then I thought in the fourth quarter we kind of willed it out.”

Kamin felt that the effort the Lakers played with on defense made a difference.

“I think we came out really aggressive and I think in the second and third quarter we kind of dropped off a little bit and kind of let them back in the game,” Kamin said. “But then we stuck with it ‘til the end. Defense ended up being huge for us, especially the last play of the game.”

Kamin scored 19 points and dished out four assists in the win, while Bisballe had a monstrous double-double as she scored 16 points and grabbed 15 rebounds.

After a gritty battle with the Warriors, it was a different game against SVSU, as the Lakers controlled the vast majority of the game. 

It was a back-and-forth affair at the beginning of the game, with the Cardinals taking an early lead before the Lakers had an 11-2 run to close out the first. From then on it was all GVSU.

The Lakers scored 26 points in the second quarter on 81% from the field and then scored 17 in the third quarter on 44% from the field, all while forcing the Cardinals into tough shots. SVSU shot 38% in the second and 30% in the third.

Down over 20 points in the fourth quarter, SVSU outscored the Lakers, but the comeback attempt was futile as GVSU took home a 78-54 victory.

Bisballe had another huge game, scoring 24 points on nine for 11 shooting while adding three 3-pointers.

“I think we just had a difference of coming in and wanted to be more dominant and to be more confident with what we were all doing and I think that helped us tonight,” said Bisballe. “I think just being more confident on the offensive end has been helping. I think not just myself, but everyone has been. I think that we’re an unselfish team and we can find each other and get good looks.”

Wrapping up their road stretch, the Lakers hope to keep a five-game winning streak alive as they take on the University of Wisconsin-Parkside on Thursday, Feb. 15 and Purdue University-Northwest on Saturday, Feb. 17.

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