No. 13 Huskies hand Lakers first home loss

GVL/Kevin Sielaff
#22 Brionna Barnett

GVL/Kevin Sielaff

GVL/Kevin Sielaff #22 Brionna Barnett

Brodie Orent

The Grand Valley State women’s basketball team held on for a 62-58 home win on Thursday against Northern Michigan, but couldn’t get the offense going two days later against Michigan Tech.

GVSU turned the ball over 11 times and shot just 29.1 percent from the field against the GLIAC’s top team at Fieldhouse Arena on Saturday afternoon, as the first-place Huskies claimed a 57-41 road victory. The Lakers were previously 11-0 at home.

A 3-pointer from GVSU junior guard Brionna Barnett gave the Lakers a 7-6 lead early in the game, but it didn’t last long. Michigan Tech led for 37:27 of the 40-minute affair.

GVSU coach Janel Burgess said she commends her team for only giving up 57 points against the Huskies, but thinks her team’s offensive execution wasn’t very strong.

“I mean, we probably beat ourselves if you want to know the truth about it,” Burgess said. “I think we just had to finish possessions on both ends. I mean, this game is very simple, it’s who scores the most, who puts the buckets in and I just don’t think we finished possessions.”

The Lakers held a slim edge in the rebounding department (39-36), but did not have a great day shooting the ball. The team went 3-of-12 percent (25 percent) from the 3-point line and 6-of-10 at the stripe (60 percent) as the Huskies improved to 20-1.

Michigan Tech held a 16-12 advantage in points in the paint and a 13-3 edge in points off turnovers. They also recorded more steals (6-2), blocks (4-0) and assists (12-5).

Barnett, a junior guard from Elkhart, Ind., paced GVSU with 16 points on 7-of-18 shooting, while going 2-of-3 from the behind the arc. She corralled four rebounds, as well.

“Our first home loss hurts, but we still have five more games to get better, then the tournament after that, so we can’t hang our heads after this,” Barnett said.

Sophomore guard Taylor Lutz had six points and two assists for GVSU. Sophomore forward Piper Tucker chipped in with six points on 3-of-5 shooting and four rebounds.

“I mean, we all could’ve done better,” Tucker said. “In my case, I could’ve been more aggressive offensively and gotten more boards defensively, but overall I think we played hard.”

Tucker said the Lakers got the shots they wanted, but couldn’t finish.

GVSU has five regular season games remaining. The team sits in second place in the GLIAC North Division standings with a 12-5 record in conference play, 15-6 overall.

The Lakers will look to forget about their first home loss when they travel to take Lake Superior State in Sault Ste. Marie on Thursday at 5:30 p.m.

“It hurts our pride; we have to come back strong for our next game, go hard at practice, be competitive and bring that edge for our next game,” Tucker said.

GVSU defeated Lake State, 58-48, in Allendale on Jan. 22.