Women’s basketball team is unable to recover from rough frist half

GVL / Eric Coulter

Dani Crandall (44) takes the ball into the paint.

Eric Coulter

GVL / Eric Coulter Dani Crandall (44) takes the ball into the paint.

Tate Baker

The Grand Valley State University women’s basketball team’s two game win streak ended abruptly Saturday afternoon when they took on Malone University. A rocky first half performance, which resulted in only 19 points put the Lakers in an early hole, one which they could not recover as they fell to the Pioneers 61-48.

“We didn’t rise to the occasion when it was crucial,” said head coach Janel Burgess. “We had somewhat of a lackadaisical approach in the first half, and we never truly recovered.”

GVSU (9-5, 5-3 GLIAC) shot just 27 percent from the field in the first half, and struggled to get any sort of offense going throughout Saturday’s matchup.

“We made a lot of mistakes,” said senior Briauna Taylor, who led the Lakers with 13 points. “Looking back on the game, you realize how important every possession was. We were unable to capitalize in key situations.”

The Lakers made a surge halfway through the second half, and were able to retain the lead 42-41. Unfortunately, the lead was short-lived as Malone went on a run of their own powered by Selana Reale’s back-to-back three pointers that pushed the Pioneers ahead for good.

“We got comfortable when we took the lead,” said junior Kellie Watson, who added 12 points. “That’s something you can’t do. We should have continued pushing, and we suffered from not doing so.”

Watson was a bright spot for the Lakers when others were struggling to find their stroke, as she converted four three pointers during the game.

“I was able to get in a bit of a flow, but I also missed several,” Watson said. “I think all of us were somewhat struggling with the same thing tonight.”

An eye-opening stat from Saturday’s game was the bench production. The Lakers’ supporting staff only managed to score 5 points, which contributed to their lack of offensive production.

“It was just one of those nights,” Watson said. “You have those nights every so often. We just need to get back in the gym and get some more shots up.”

GVSU will be in the thick of things as they head into the new semester with multiple matchups with GLIAC foes.

“It’s going to be a battle of grit and determination,” Burgess said. “It’s going to be a fight with every team we face from here on out. It should be quite an experience. I hope our girls are ready for it.”

The Lakers will host Northern Michigan University and Michigan Tech University this upcoming week in hopes of righting the ship as they are in contention for the GLIAC crown. This Thursday will be the Lakers first home matchup of the new semester when they face off against Northern Michigan.

[email protected]