Lakers win, lose over Thanksgiving holiday

GVL / Robert Mathews / Tori Klewicki-McNutt (40) and Brittany Taylor (13) getting pumped for the game.

Robert Mathews

GVL / Robert Mathews / Tori Klewicki-McNutt (40) and Brittany Taylor (13) getting pumped for the game.

Stephanie Deible

After a disappointing loss in their season opener, junior center Alex Stelfox and the Grand Valley State University women’s basketball team had no problem finishing shots on Tuesday against Aquinas College.

Behind an 18-point outburst from Stelfox and strong play from guards Lauren Stodola and Jasmine Padin, the Lakers (2-1) defeated the Saints 75-47.

“We needed this win pretty bad,” said Stelfox, who shot 75 percent from the field and grabbed four rebounds. “That first game wasn’t how we normally play, so we had to focus in practice, and this gets our confidence up again.”

On the offensive end, the Lakers found the bottom of the net early and often with 10 different players scoring on the night. Padin and Stodola lead the charge in distributing the ball, combining for eight assists and two steals.

“I loved how our point guards were kicking the ball ahead,” said GVSU head coach Janel Burgess. “I mean look at Jasmine, five assists and one turnover and Lauren Stodola having three assists and one turnover. Those are all good signs to build and progress on as we head into Wisconsin Parkside.”

The Laker bench also played a pivotal role in the win, accounting for almost a quarter of GVSU’s offensive output.

“So many kids got some great opportunities,” Burgess said. “It was great to see Kellie Watson come in and play some good minutes and have some open shots go in.”

Defensively, GVSU used its size and tenacity to limit Aquinas to six field goals and 16 points in first half.

Burgess said the effort on the defensive end was solid in large part due to the rotation on help defense and the team’s ability to minimize fouls early.

On Saturday, GVSU was unable to earn its first road victory of the season, falling to the University of Wisconsin Parkside (4-1) by a score of 60-73.

“It was a tough environment to play in, but we had the opportunity to be successful,” Burgess said. “We had some key possessions that we did not go finish.”

Watson, who scored a game-high 16 points off the bench, gave GVSU a one-point advantage when she connected on a long range shot to close out the first half.

“Coming out of the locker room we knew we had to keep the lead and keep up the intensity,” Watson said. “As the half went on we just ran into a couple breakdowns that we have to clean up.”

The second half was a back-and-forth battle, but four GVSU turnovers in last three minutes of the game stretched a four-point deficit into a 13-point loss.

“We’re going to have to learn some things from that cause you got to be able finish a game in the last two and a half minutes,” Burgess said. “We have to take care of the ball down the stretch and we have to quit fouling so much. You can’t send a team to the line 30 times and expect to be successful.”

The Lakers will be back in action at 6 p.m. today as they take on Urbana University in the Fieldhouse Arena.

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