GVSU offense, tempo lead to win over Michigan-Dearborn

GVL / Robert Mathews
Senior Breland Hogan (1)

Robert Mathews

GVL / Robert Mathews Senior Breland Hogan (1)

Bryce Derouin

In front of a large gathering of students and fans, the Grand Valley State men’s basketball team displayed an exciting up-tempo style of play that overmatched visiting University of Michigan-Deaborn right from the start.

GVSU (1-0) set the tone at the beginning of each half, including an early 14-4 lead and left no doubt in the outcome as the Lakers continued to pad their lead on their way to an 84-47 victory.

“I thought the beginning of the game we really came out with good energy and were solid defensively, and kind of lost it a little bit as the half went on,” said head coach Ric Wesley. “So we talked about it at halftime. Let’s come back out and get it jacked up again, and we certainly did in the second half.”

Michigan-Dearborn put together a 6-0 run of their own before the half ended to get the deficit within 20 before halftime, 43-25, but the Lakers came out of the locker room and responded with a 22-0 run of their own to start the second half, and held Michigan-Dearborn without a field goal in the first 10:22.

The Lakers had five players in double figures, including sophomore Darius Norman, who led the Lakers with 14 points and was perfect from the field, shooting 4-4.

“That’s one thing we have this year,” said sophomore guard Ryan Majerle, who added seven points and four rebounds and made his debut as a Laker after transferring from the University of Toledo. “We have a lot of depth. It could be one guy’s night, or it could be another guy’s night another night. Everyone can go off at any different night.”

Michigan-Dearborn tried a combination of defenses to stop the Lakers onslaught, including a Box and 1, 2-3 zone and man to man defense, but it was to no avail. The Lakers offense shot 30-for-49 (61 percent) from the field, including 9-for-19 from deep (47 percent).

“As a point guard, I gotta recognize what we in, see what the defense is in,” said senior guard Breland Hogan, who tallied 13 points. “We have a lot of stuff in our toolbox plays wise. We got a lot of things. If teams go zone or teams go man, we got a counter for everything.”

The most exciting play of the night came from another Laker making his GVSU debut. Sophomore Kristers Zeidaks caught a lob pass that came from above the top of the three-point line from junior Rob Woodson. Zeidaks elevated over a Michigan-Dearborn defender to complete the alley-oop and bring the crowd to its feet.

That was just one of 25 assists the Lakers tallied on the night. GVSU’s offense was efficient the entire night and recorded 25 assists on their 30 field goals.

“I thought for the most part we really shared the ball,” Wesley said. “We hit the open man, guys shot in rhythm. Guys shot when they were supposed to shoot. I think that’s the key to good offense. Be unselfish and keep the ball moving and guys taking the kind of shots they can make. I was pretty happy with that.”

GVSU will now attempt to secure their first road win of the season as they travel to Louisville, Ken. Saturday, as they take on No. 4 ranked Bellarmine University.
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