GVSU women’s basketball splits first two games of 2016 season

Beau Troutman and Josh Peick

Following a trip to the Final Four last season, the Grand Valley State women’s basketball team picked up right where it left off in the GLIAC/GLVC Challenge Nov. 12-13 in Allendale.

The Lakers dominated Quincy (0-2) in the first game 83-45. The following day, the Lakers fell to the Truman State Bulldogs (1-1) 74-69.

In the home opener Saturday, the Lakers throttled a 25-win Quincy team that beat GVSU last season. GVSU jumped out to a 14-point lead in the first quarter and never looked back from there.

Sophomore Taylor Parmley gave the Lakers a spark off the bench with an eight-point first quarter. Parmley finished the game with 14 points and seven rebounds.

“That’s what she does,” said GVSU coach Mike Williams. “You get the ball to her, and she finds a way to put it in the basket. Her and (Baker), they did it last year and they are doing it again this year, just instant offense coming off the bench.”

Freshman Jenn DeBoer also provided the Lakers with production off the bench. She finished with 11 points and two assists.

“She fits what we need coming off the bench,” Williams said. “She shoots it really well. She’s a really good passer and figuring out how to defend. She’s figuring out the sense of urgency needed to guard people at this level.”

Heading into the second half with a 40-18 lead, the Lakers kept the foot on the gas and outscored the Hawks 43-27.

In the fourth quarter, Bailey Cairnduff drained a 3-pointer on the Lakers first possession. On the Hawks’ ensuing possession, Cairnduff jumped in front of a pass and scored a breakaway layup. She finished with a game-high 15 points with three 3-pointers.

“It gives us that confidence that we can and will be good, but it’s definitely not a chance to relax,” Parmley said. “We need to continue to get better.”

In the second game Sunday, the Lakers had more than just the Bulldogs to worry about.

Trailing 71-67 with under 30 seconds left, Janae Langs hit a layup to make it a one-possession game. Then with 15 seconds left, a malfunctioning fire alarm caused a stoppage in play.

“That was bizarre,” Langs said. “We were in the moment, and then when everyone stops, you realize, ‘holy crap, the fire alarm is going off.’ It was pretty crazy, but you got to learn to fight through it.”

Once the fire alarm situation was resolved, the Bulldogs had possession, and the Lakers were forced to intentionally foul on the inbounds with only seconds remaining in the game. GVSU’s Cassidy Boensch appeared to force a jump ball after the inbounds play, but a personal foul was called, sending the Bulldogs’ Sloane Totta to the line.

Totta hit the first free throw, but missed the second, making the score 72-69. The Lakers had one more chance to tie the game with just 12 seconds on the clock.

On the final possession, the Lakers got the ball to three-point specialist Lindsay Baker, who caught a pass with time winding down—but her shot sailed short of the rim with four seconds left in the game. Forward Kayla Dawson nearly saved the ball, but was out of bounds when she caught the errant shot, turning it over to the Bulldogs.

The Bulldogs hit a pair of free throws to seal a game in which the Lakers never led. GVSU shot an uncharacteristic 17.4 percent (4-of-22) from behind the arc.

“We’re a three-point team, and some days those shots don’t fall,” Langs said. “I think it was just a case of us not hitting as well as we usually do.”

Langs finished with a game-high 21 points, along with a team-high 10 rebounds. Lutz had 12 points while Dawson and Parmley each added 10.

Next, the Lakers host Rochester at home Friday, Nov. 18 at 6 p.m.