GVSU basketball loses to Davenport on senior night

Dan Pacheco/GVL
Mens Basketball 2-23-19

Dan Pacheco/GVL Mens Basketball 2-23-19

Kellen Voss

The Grand Valley State men’s basketball team was looking to cap their regular season off with a win against No. 11 Davenport but came up just short, losing 70-67 and claiming the No. 7 seed in the GLIAC tournament.

Despite losing to the Panthers by over 20 points earlier this season, the Lakers were able to compete with the Panthers all game long, as they were able to lead or keep the game tied for almost 16 minutes while holding DU without a field goal in the final four and a half minutes. Not corralling a few loose balls and Davenport making their free throws toward the end helped secure the win for the Panthers.

“I’m disappointed we couldn’t find a way at the end there to get this one done, they’re an outstanding team and they’ve found a way to win these games, we just didn’t make the plays,” said head coach Ric Wesley. “There was a lot of 50/50 balls we didn’t get and we didn’t pass the ball particularly well, but if they’re the best team in our conference, we showed we can compete with anyone.”

Before tipping off, GVSU took a minute to celebrate all that senior players Kindred Williams, Zach West and Justin Greason have done for the program. Graduating student managers Ben Conrad, Connor Wesley and Zak Spryszak were also recognized for everything they’ve done for the basketball program.

GVSU got things started off well in the first half, shooting 59.3 percent from the field while holding DU to under 50 percent, as they claimed a 36-33 lead at the half.

The Panthers came out hot in the second half, starting off the half on an 18-4 run and leading by 12 with 13 minutes left. Shaquan McArthur, who had a career-high 18 points in the loss, knew that the Lakers needed to buckle down to tie things back up.

“It was just about getting stops and competing,” McArthur said. “That was the goal, to just come out and make the plays, which is what we did.”

GVSU had a 12-0 run of their own with 12 minutes left, as the game was a back-and-forth contest with multiple lead changes that came down to the wire.  GVSU had a chance to tie things up with 12 seconds left with a three, as Jeremiah Ferguson, who lead all Lakers with 20 points in the contest, launched an off-balance three that was just off the mark.

With the loss, the Lakers conclude the 2018-19 regular season with a 16-12 overall record, as well as an even 10-10 record in the GLIAC. As the seven seed in the GLIAC tournament, the Lakers will travel to Ashland to play the Eagles on Tuesday, March 5, at 7:30 p.m.

Seeing the team compete well against the No.1 seed in the GLIAC tournament proved to Wesley that this team is hungry to make a postseason run and can compete with any team in the conference.

“There’s a lot of good teams in our conference, and we’ve been right there with them,” Wesley said. “Our challenge is to go on the road, bring our A-game and see where the chips fall. Our goal all year has been to make the postseason, we’re there, this is our March Madness, and we got a chance just like everybody else.