Lakers’ women’s basketball routs Concordia-Ann Arbor

Dan Pacheco/GVL

Dan Pacheco/GVL

Brady McAtamney

While students were wrapping up their short Thanksgiving break and preparing for the two-week spring leading to finals, the No. 18 ranked Grand Valley State women’s basketball team blew out the Concordia Cardinals 86-42 on Saturday, Nov. 24 at GVSU’s Fieldhouse Arena.

Center Cassidy Boensch was the star of the Lakers’ show, scoring 24 points on 12-15 shooting while pulling down 16 rebounds and swatting three blocks while obtaining her double-double before halftime. 

Despite being the game’s leading scorer and rebounder, the six-foot-four-inch junior was quick to attribute the win to the team.

“Just our teamwork, we got a lot of easy passes down low on the block, and that makes my job really simple, so I think we just had our eyes up a little bit and really saw things,” Boensch said. “I think we’ve really been working hard, we had a great four days of practice, we really came in with a lot of intensity, and we worked well together.”

Guards Jenn DeBoer and Victoria Hademark contributed 14 and 10 points, respectively, while each dishing five assists and shooting a combined 10-16. 

Defensively, the Lakers never allowed more than 13 points in a single quarter, holding the Cardinals to as few as six points in the first 10 minutes. They forced CUAA to shoot 29.1 percent from the field, including a measly 16 percent from three-point range. 

“I thought we played well inside at times,” said head coach Mike Williams. “They’re a fast team. We talked about them trying to get to the basket and just ramming into that rim, and they’re quick and fast, and a couple times they caught our players off-balance and went by us, but for the most part I thought we did a good job with that.”

Coming into the game, the Cardinals were 0-6 against NAIA competition with only two single-digit differentials compared to the 3-1 Lakers who had two victories of 20-plus points. A blowout was hardly unexpected, but GVSU knew that they still had to be locked in mentally and compete, even if the competition was not comparable to that which they’ve seen previously. 

“We talked about being our best every time we stepped on the floor,” Williams said. “We try not to look at scores, we just try to say ‘be your best’ and I thought that the players that came in that second half did a good job. I know they got some easy baskets on us, but that’s things they’ve been used to in a lot of game action, so for the most part I thought we did a nice job with that score being what it was.”

With the Lakers’ next four games coming against GLIAC opponents, Williams and the players want to improve their confidence, communication and teamwork in order to start conference season on a high note. 

Now 4-1, GVSU will tour the Midwest with games against the Wisconsin-Parkside Rangers (1-3) on Thursday, Nov. 29 at 6:30 p.m. in Kenosha, Wis. and the Purdue-Northwest Pride (2-3) on Saturday, Dec. 1 at 4 p.m. in Hammond, Ind.