GVSU men’s basketball uses hot shooting to beat Grace Christian

GVL / Archive

GVL / Archive

Kellen Voss

While of the student body was at home visiting family for Thanksgiving break, the Grand Valley State men’s basketball team was busy adding another win to their record, beating Grace Christian 87-70 in a home match-up.

With Grace Christian running a two-three zone for the majority of the game, the Lakers started out with a lack of energy, but got ah old of how to handle the defense as the game went along.

“This is the most zone we’ve seen all season, and in that first half, they got us standing around a bit,” said head coach Ric Wesley. “In the second half, we worked the ball a little better, got the ball in the high post, and we just got better shots since we were willing to work more.”

Being patient and not settling for shots helped GVSU find and make open three-point shots, as the team combined to hit 13 threes, including shooting 46.2 percent from deep in the second half. 

Five of those key three-pointers came from Hunter Hale, who led the team with 17 points to go along with five assists and four rebounds.

“I’ve been getting a lot of shots up outside of practice,” Hale said. “It’s not surprising since I work on it so much and I expect that success. I expect myself to shoot well, I just keep pushing myself to keep shooting well like that.”

While Hale did lead GVSU in scoring, he was far from the only Laker to find offensive success. Jeremiah Ferguson followed right behind him with 14 points, as Justin Greason and Demetrius Lake were both able to score 12 points each off the bench. 

It’s safe to say this will be a game that Lake will remember, as the four three-pointers he hit were the first points Lake put up in his young Laker career. Lake took a very humble approach when asked how that offensive success felt, crediting his teammates for making it happen.

“My teammates got me open and got me in the right spots,” Lake said. “My teammates were able to move the ball and help me get wide open shots in the two-three zone, and it felt good.”

Lake is far from just a sharpshooter for GVSU, as his defensive hustle, knowledge of his role and ability to talk on defense really helps his teammates on the other side of the court.

“We need to communicate on defense, because defense is one of our biggest priorities on this team,” Lake said. “Coach stresses that a lot, we just got to communicate on defense to win games, and with me coming off the bench, I just try to bring energy and be the glue guy.”

With the win, GVSU improves to 4-1 on the year. The team deserves a holiday break just like the rest of the students on campus, so they’ll have eight days off before their next game against Wisconsin-Parkside.

While the break will be nice to help the team recharge their batteries, Wesley wants them to avoid complacency, as they still need to improve in a lot of areas before conference play.

“We were working pretty good, our guys were communicating well, we just got to extend the amount of time where we play at a high level, particularly when we get into conference play,” Wesley said. “A lot of guys played and a lot of guys had success tonight, so hopefully we can build on that when we get back.”

GVSU heads to Wisconsin-Parkside on Thursday, Nov. 29 for a road match-up with the Rangers. Tipoff is set for 8:30 p.m.