Lakers torch Ferris State in ‘Blackout’

GVL / Kevin Sielaff
The Lakers getting fired up as their introduced for their game against Ferris State University on Monday night.

GVL / Kevin Sielaff The Lakers getting fired up as their introduced for their game against Ferris State University on Monday night.

Jay Bushen

Junior guard Ryan Sabin shot lights out from the start at the Fieldhouse Arena on Monday night — then the “Blackout” quickly turned into a blow out just minutes into the game.

Sabin scored all 21 of his points in the first half as the Grand Valley State University men’s basketball team responded to an overtime loss on Saturday by routing Ferris State University 86-62.

“He was on fire,” head coach Ric Wesley said. “He was tremendous. We’re seeing that on a much more regular basis so it doesn’t really surprise us. It’s nothing that we’ve never seen before.”

The native of Byron Center, Mich., singlehandedly outscored FSU 12-4 early on as the Lakers raced out to a 17-4 lead less than six minutes into the game.

He shot 5-of-7 from beyond the arc and 4-of-4 from the free-throw line in the opening stanza, and he also tacked on six rebounds and four assists before it was all said it done.

He and his teammates were more than ready to play against their rival, which had entered the game on an eight-game losing streak.

“I don’t like Ferris,” he said. “My teammates did a phenomenal job passing the ball. All the credit to them, I just catch it and shoot it — they found me in good positions. I had to work for a couple, but I was just feeling it.”

Fifth-year senior point guard Rob Woodson orchestrated an up-tempo offense that seemed to be scoring at will all game long. He finished with 11 points, a game-high six assists and five rebounds, while freshman forward Trevin Alexander chipped in with nine points and a game-high seven boards.

GVSU, which was donning all-black uniforms, led by as many as points 21 points in the first, and its defense had a lot to do with it.

Woodson and sophomore forward Ricky Carbajal led the way as the Lakers forced 15 first-half turnovers and converted them into 20 points. The team finished with 11 steals.

Carbajal, who was serenaded with a birthday song from the GVSU band while shooting free throws in the second half, finished with 10 points, five boards and five fouls.

“That was pretty funny,” the 21-year-old said. “I tried not to laugh at the free-throw line, but thankfully I made the shots.”

It was a relaxed environment at the Fieldhouse in the one-sided affair, and the Lakers used it to their advantage by playing loose on their way to 39 second-half points. Eight players chipped in with more than five points.

GVSU held onto its fifth-place spot in the overall conference standings with the victory.

“It was a good bounce-back game for us,” Wesley said. “It was good that we were able to come right back and play. Saturday was such a disappointing loss so it was nice to move on and get right back out there.”

The team will tip off against Northern Michigan University tonight at 8 p.m. before finishing its four-game homestand against Michigan Technological University on Saturday at 3 p.m.