Fouls, missed opportunities cost men’s basketball team in 63-59 loss to Northwood

GVL / Robert Mathews
Junior Tony Peters looks to pass to his teammate during Wednesday nights game

Robert Mathews

GVL / Robert Mathews Junior Tony Peters looks to pass to his teammate during Wednesday nights game

Brady Fredericksen

Their first matchup was a defensive slugfest, and the second one proved no different as the Grand Valley State University men’s basketball team failed to avenge their first GLIAC loss of the season, falling to Northwood University 63-59.

Fouls and missed shots were prevalent throughout, as the teams combined for 24 fouls and both shot below 40 percent from the field in the half. The Lakers (9-6, 6-3 GLIAC), a team that normally thrives on its shooting ability, was held without a 3-point make until the 17:29 mark in the second half.

That Northwood (8-6, 4-4 GLIAC) defense, which held GVSU to only 17.4 percent shooting in the second half of their first game, was strong again on Wednesday.

“It‘s disappointing … but you know, those guys are two, maybe three year starters, so they’re a tough out and we knew that when we went over to their place,” said GVSU head coach Ric Wesley. “We’re trying to be a good team, and every game is big for us. We’re just trying to win some games, we’re in conference play and we’re not a team that’s a national title contender – that’s for sure – so we’re just trying to keep our head above water and scrap and claw and have any success that we can have.”

Also giving the Lakers a boost early was the play of their bench. With senior center Nick Waddell and freshman guard Ryan Sabin saddled with two early fouls each, GVSU turned to its bench and they came up strong.

Playing a season-high 24 minutes, sophomore guard Rob Woodson didn’t do a lot in the box score, but he split the ball handling duties with point guard Breland Hogan in the first half and moved the ball effectively – finishing the game without a turnover.

“We like to have a good bench, coach always tells us that the bench is going to try to keep up the energy,” said Woodson, who finished with four points and two assists. “If the first five aren‘t doing good, we have to pick it up and if the first five are doing good, we have to keep it up.”

Northwood was led by senior guard Bobby Lewis, who scored 17 points to go along with a game-high 12 rebounds.

Hogan paced the Lakers, scoring 13 points and grabbing four rebounds, but even his 11-of-13 showing from the free throw line couldn’t help the team’s subpar 69 percent showing from the line.

The team will return to the court Saturday when they take on No. 18 Hillsdale College at 8 p.m. in Fieldhouse Arena.