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 men’s basketball moves to 10-14, splitting vs Parkside and PNW

GVL / Macayla Cramer

The Grand Valley State University men’s basketball team finished out its five-game road trip with a 72-63 bounce-back victory over the University of Wisconsin-Parkside Rangers on Thursday, Feb. 15 and a nail-biting loss 78-76 to the Purdue University Northwest Pride on Saturday, Feb. 17. 

Both road matchups were very close as GVSU found ways to win against the Rangers but struggled to do so against the Pride. The Lakers have been very inconsistent on the glass all season long, although it has been a focal point of practice for the GVSU.

According to Lakers head coach Cornell Mann, it was the difference in the win over Parkside and the loss over PNW.

“We must emphasize it, it’s been what we have been doing all year. We have to do a better job,” Mann said. “We work on it every day, but we have to stay consistent with it in game as we saw this weekend.”

Backed by 12 points from sophomore guard Mason Docks and a strong defensive start, the Lakers jumped out to an early double-digit lead midway through the first half. 

GVSU grew its lead to a game-high 19 points when Marius Garzulis hit a mid-range jumper with two minutes left in the half. The Lakers headed into halftime with a commanding 41-25 advantage.

Parkside came out hot to start the second half, cutting the Lakers’ lead to single digits with 12 minutes remaining. The Rangers eventually came within three points before GVSU’s Trevor Smith ignited a 6-0 Lakers run to push the lead back to nine. 

Parkside once again fought back to tie the game at 55 after a piece with 5:30 remaining after scoring nine unanswered points. It was a back-and-forth battle with each team answering the other before Parkside took their first lead of the game with just over three minutes left.

Docks came up clutch for the Lakers by hitting a 3-pointer to give his squad the lead at 61-58. Grazulis also made a huge basket late when he scored an and-one to put the Lakers up four. GVSU would hit on a few free throws down the stretch to close out the game and win 72-63.

Docks put on an electric performance by scoring a career-high 26 points while shooting 9 of 16 from the field and 4 for 8 from three. GVSU’s Ethan Alderink added 11 points and hauled in six rebounds, while Jalen Charity led the team with seven boards.

Docks said when the Lakers are able to rebound well it affects the tempo that the team plays at. 

“The fact that we were able to get that many rebounds helped us to push the ball up the floor a lot faster and speed up the pace which is where we play our best,” Docks said.

GVSU was looking to close the road trip with a win in Saturday’s game against PNW, a back-and-forth battle from the tip.

While trailing 17-13 in the first half, the Lakers’ William Dunn hit a 3-pointer that ignited an 8-0 GVSU run to take a 21-17 lead.

The Pride responded by fighting back to even the game 26-26 with just under four minutes remaining in the half. The two teams would trade baskets until PNW hit a 3-pointer that propelled them to a 43-35 lead going into the locker room.

The Lakers came out of the break and battled back early in the second half, taking a 54-53 lead before falling short and losing 78-76.

Mann said it was the team’s rebounding that cost them at the end of the game.

“We lost the game at the glass,” said Mann. “Toward the end of the game, they scored three second-chance shots. That was the story of the game and that has been the reason we have lost games this season.”

Dunn and Docks led the Lakers in scoring with 17 points each, while Dunn knocked down three 3-pointers and recorded six rebounds.

Dunn said it was a disappointing loss as the team was hoping to get back on track, especially after the win against Parkside.

“It’s just frustrating, we have been struggling on the road this year and we were hoping to turn it around toward the end of the year. Especially with the win at Parkside,” Dunn said. “We all know that there were little things that we could have done in the game, like our rebounding, that could have completely changed the outcome of this game.”

GVSU now returns home next week for their final homestand of the regular season. They will host rival Ferris State University on Thursday, Feb. 22 at 8 p.m. before hosting Lake Superior State University on Saturday, Feb. 24 at 3 p.m.

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