Five Lakers score in double digits as GVSU men’s basketball starts 1-0

Justin Greason goes in for a layup during the scrimmage against Macomb on Sunday October 22, 2017.  GVL/ Sheila Babbitt 

Justin Greason goes in for a layup during the scrimmage against Macomb on Sunday October 22, 2017.  GVL/ Sheila Babbitt 

Kellen Voss

Most good seasons are jump-started by a strong start, and that may be exactly the case for the Grand Valley State men’s basketball team as they traveled to West Virginia on Saturday,  Nov. 10 to pound the Alderson Broaddus Battlers 96-74.

The season opener for the Lakers was highlighted by a hot start and a balanced scoring attack, as winning the first half by a margin of 54-32 helped carry GVSU to victory. 

Justin Greason led all Lakers in scoring with 18 points, while four other Lakers hit double digits. Jake Van Tubbergen poured in 17 points, Hunter Hale chipped in 16, and new transfers Jeremiah Ferguson and Kindred Williams helped with 14 and 13 points, respectively.

Head coach Ric Wesley is happy to get this season started on a high note, and loved the scoring spurts that helped the Laker offense erupt throughout the first half.

“In the first half, I really though we played well and got off to a great start,” Wesley said. “I think we were up 20 at one point, we had a few good scoring spurts and we’re happy to be 1-0.”

Despite the hot start, GVSU took their foot off the gas pedal in the second half as the Battlers matched them in scoring. While Wesley is proud of the team’s first half, he feels they need to avoid complacency and keep grinding out until the end for a complete team victory.

“We were pretty good offensively, but we were a little sloppy all around in the second half,” Wesley said. “Our defense was strong in that first half, and it made it tough for (Alderson Broaddus) to score, but we need to play with that intensity for the entire game.”

Although Wesley hates picking out a player-of-the-game in this team sport, if he had to pick one, he said he’d pick Greason, whose combination of size and speed helped him contribute 18 points on seven-for-seven shooting with nine rebounds and three blocks to help lead the team to victory.

“It’s a team game, and we had a lot of guys play well, but Greason really had a strong performance,” Wesley said. “He was able to score the ball deep in the paint, was great on the boards, and made his presence felt on the defensive end. He’s worked really hard in the off-season and in the lead-up to the game, and that showed today.”

While a 1-0 start is always ideal for a team looking to make a postseason run, Wesley reiterates that his team played far from a perfect and would like to see them share the ball more and play more consistently as the season goes along.

“I think we need to play with more consistency, which is what everyone strives for this time of year,” Wesley said. “We got to move and share the ball, and when we do that, we got enough talent to carry us. There’s obviously still some things we need to work on, but at least we got this season off to a good start.”

GVSU looks to keep the good times rolling as they head back home for a match-up with Tiffin on Friday, Nov. 16 before facing Indianapolis on Sunday, Nov. 18. Friday’s game is set to tip off at 7 p.m., while Sunday’s game is set to start at 2 p.m.