GVSU defeats Hillsdale to move on in GLIAC tournament

GVL / Robert Mathews
Tyrone Lee

GVL / Robert Mathews Tyrone Lee

Bryce Derouin

It’s tournament time and the Grand Valley State University men’s basketball team is playing with a sense of urgency, led by their senior trio.

All three GVSU seniors scored in double digits in what was their last game in Allendale. Tony Peters and Breland Hogan led GVSU with 15 points, while Tyrone Lee added 13 points in a 73-57 victory over Hillsdale College in the first round of the GLIAC tournament.

Peters got the Lakers out to an early lead when he scored seven of the team’s first nine points to give GVSU an early 9-2 advantage.

“I was playing for my team and I didn’t want our season to end,” Peters said. “I came out with as much focus as I can and it paid off.

I was just going to play my hardest regardless of how I shot the ball. Fortunately, I was able to make some shots. It was confidence more than anything.”

Like they’ve done all season, GVSU managed to blow the game open in the second half. Leading 27-26 at halftime, the Lakers outscored Hillsdale 46-31 in the second half, including an 11-0 run in the middle of the second half that gave GVSU a 47-33 lead with 10:26 left in the game.

The Lakers run was capped off by two tradition three-point plays by Lee. The first, after he made an elbow jumper, and the second on the subsequent Laker possession when he drove to the lane and threw up a one-handed shot that went in. On both instances Lee would convert the free throws after he was fouled.

“I just focused in on the shot,” Lee said about his circus layup. “Coach told me when I get the ball, don’t wait, just go at him because he’s slow. I just went after him, and he kind of tripped me up and I just threw the ball up there and it went in. It was a lucky shot, but it was in my favor.”

Lee’s presence was also felt on the defensive end. He played a major role in limiting the GLIAC’s ninth highest scorer, junior Tim Dezelski to 4-of-12 shooting and 11 points – five points below his season average.

“I thought our energy and our competitive spirit was tremendous,” said head coach Ric Wesley. “I couldn’t be prouder of our guys. I just thought it was all about hard work and I thought we had it in us.”

The Lakers will travel to Michigan Tech University to play Lake Superior State University on Saturday for the third time this season. GVSU won the last two matchups 71-62 and 82-57.

“They’re really tough and physical type team,” Wesley said. “It’s a battle when you paly them. Obviously they caught fire here late in the season.

They’ve got a winning formula going right now. We’ll take a look at the film and try to figure out what they’re doing and go up there and give it our best shot.”

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