Offense reignites as GVSU women’s basketball crush Davenport

GVL / Sheila Babbitt

GVL / Sheila Babbitt

Brady McAtamney

After seeing their 14-game win streak end on the road against Northern Michigan last weekend, the No. 15 ranked Grand Valley State women’s basketball team began what they hope will become a new streak as they beat the Davenport Panthers 82-53 in Caledonia, Mich. on Saturday, Jan. 26. With the victory, the Lakers are now 17-2 (10-1 GLIAC) this season.

In the four games prior to the win at Davenport, the Lakers had failed to score 70 points in a single game and could not even hit the 60 mark in their previous two contests. The 82 point outburst is their largest total since Dec. 29 against Lourdes and GVSU is confident that they have finally found their way out of the slump.

“It’s a step in the right direction,” said head coach Mike Williams. “I thought we hunted, we were more aggressive offensively. I thought we hunted some shots.”

While the Lakers led for all but two minutes of the game, things looked potentially dangerous early as both center Cassidy Boensch and guard Victoria Hedemark had to sit for significant stretches due to foul trouble – something the team is largely unfamiliar with this season. Outside of Boensch and Hedemark, who respectively scored 10 and nine points each, eight different Lakers made shots. 

Guard Jenn DeBoer led with 23 points and eight assists while forward Anja Smith scored nine. Guards Natalie Koenig and Taya Andrews along with forward Maddie Dailey each scored seven points. 

“Sometimes you’re nervous to throw some players in there, I don’t do a good job of that, so this forced my hand and when I did, they responded so that’s a good thing,” Williams said. 

GVSU made 11 three-pointers, their most since the Dec. 29 game, and converted on 55.2 percent of their looks overall. Players felt that, without the dominant presence of Boensch in the post, they felt more comfortable in taking a different approach. 

“It teaches us to find ways to get to the basket and get paint touches without Cassidy,” DeBoer said. “Obviously it’s a lot more helpful when she’s in there because we don’t have a lot of true post players besides her so that really forced us to attack more.”

As for the atmosphere of the game, the one-game week and 30 minute bus ride to Davenport was welcomed with open arms by the Lakers after their Upper Peninsula trip and leading up to their Detroit and Ashland excursion. 

“It’s not technically a home game, we love our home court, but at the same time you zip over, it’s 30 minutes, you play the game,” Williams said. “Those long bus rides, the day bus rides for two-and-a-half, three hours, it’s tough to load your legs up. This one, it’s such a short pop and it’s a lot nicer.”

The Lakers will enjoy their victory before heading to Wayne State (10-9, 5-6 GLIAC) on Thursday, Jan. 31 at 5:30 p.m. and Ashland (18-1, 10-1) on Saturday, Feb. 2 at 1 p.m.