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 extends seven game win streak, beats Parkside and PNW

Courtesy GVSU Athletics

The No. 2 ranked Grand Valley State University women’s basketball team finished out their road stretch with two close wins defeating the University of Wisconsin-Parkside Rangers 76-63 on Thursday, Feb. 15, before squeaking by the Purdue University-Northwest (PNW) Pride 55-53 on Saturday, Feb. 17.

With those two wins, the Lakers are now on a seven-game winning streak and improve their record to 22-2 overall and 13-1 in the Great Lakes Intercollegiate Athletic Conference (GLIAC). Although the Rangers and Pride are middle-of-the-conference teams, they both put up a better fight against GVSU than most of their opponents this season.

Against Parkside (12-10 overall, 7-7 in conference) it was a close battle at the start as both teams were scoring back and forth, with neither side letting up. GVSU began to struggle a bit towards the end of the quarter as they shot 35% from the field.

During that time frame, the Rangers put it together and finished out the quarter with a 7-0 run, while shooting 53% from the field in the quarter, to take a 22-15 lead.

The Lakers responded with a run of their own at the beginning of the second quarter with a 7-0 run to cut the lead, but as play continued neither team was able to capitalize and take over the game, as GVSU scored 21 points in the quarter, but still trailed going into the half as Parkside scored 19 points and led 41-36.

GVSU head coach Mike Williams thought Parkside was a step ahead in the first half.

“They’re really good offensively, really on point, and they really came at us,” Williams said. “I thought our players were just about a half step behind on a lot of their screening action and closeouts getting a hand on shooters getting on the defensive glass and we weren’t playing poorly but we weren’t playing at the top of our game where we need to be.”

The third quarter was where the tide turned for the Lakers. They scored 19 points as their physical play drew 10 free throws, making eight of them. On defense, the Lakers forced the Rangers into tough shots as Parkside had their worst quarter scoring just 10 points on 22% from the field.

Going into the fourth quarter, all the momentum was on the Lakers’ side as they continued to slow down Parkside on the defensive end. Keeping up their offensive prowess, GVSU sophomore Paige Vanstee scored nine points in the quarter and junior Rylie Bisballe scored eight points, including two 3-pointers that sealed the 76-63 win for the Lakers.

Vanstee finished with a career-high 24 points off the bench, while Bisballe matched her with 24 points of her own and four 3-pointers.

“I’m just super excited and happy to be back with my team,” Vanstee said. “It’s a little bit different when you’re on the court versus on the bench and you can just feel different energy on the court. I just keep looking at my teammates when I’m down and they help me pick up a lot.”

Bisballe said the adjustments Williams had made during halftime was the difference maker in turning the tide for the Lakers.

“I think Coach (Williams) came in and went over what we needed to do better in the second half and I think for the most part we did that,” Bisballe said. “We’re able to help each other a little bit more by attacking the screens and getting more stops on defense. I think that we just kept that going and we got confident.”

The Lakers then traveled to Hammond, Indiana to play PNW on Feb. 17 and had a low-scoring game as both teams seemed to struggle on offense. Williams felt that, although his team played tight, going on the road and beating tough competition in close games will help to prepare his team going forward.

One advantage the Lakers had in this game was their offensive rebounding, as they snagged 16 offensive rebounds while the Pride only grabbed two.

With six minutes remaining in the fourth quarter, the Lakers were up 12 points, before PNW went on an 11 to 2 run to nearly steal the game. GVSU was able to get a late stop on the defensive end to prevent the comeback and hold on to win 55-53.

Lakers sophomore guard Nicole Kamin had an all-around game against the Pride, scoring 13 points on 50% from the field and adding seven rebounds and four assists. Kamin felt her team was lulled into the slow pace of the game.

“I think it was definitely slower. I think we lost our urgency at times and we got to capitalize and not back down,” Kamin said.

The Lakers return home to the GVSU Fieldhouse Arena for a highly anticipated rematch against the team that last defeated them, Ferris State University, at 6 p.m. on Thursday, Feb. 22.

“I think everyone’s excited. I think we’ve been doing really good trying to get through these games before Ferris comes up,” Kamin said. “I think we’re gonna have to come out with a lot of urgency against them and be ready to play.”

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