Shooting woes doom women’s basketball in winless weekend

GVL/Amalia Heichelbech
Freshman guard Meryl Cripe (12) drives the ball up court during the Lakers  game against Lake Superior State University.

Amalia Heichelbech

GVL/Amalia Heichelbech Freshman guard Meryl Cripe (12) drives the ball up court during the Lakers’ game against Lake Superior State University.

Stephanie Deible

Offense came at a premium for the Grand Valley State University women’s basketball team inside the Fieldhouse Arena this weekend.

Except the Lakers weren’t generating any, dropping their fourth-straight contest on Saturday, falling to Lake Superior State University (8-13, 4-10 GLIAC) 51-42.

GVSU (9-12, 6-8 GLIAC) scored 42 points, its lowest point total since Dec. 30, and committed 19 turnovers in the loss.

“We need to continue to try and put the ball in the hole,” said GVSU head coach Janel Burgess. “These last two games we shot 25 percent and 31 percent from the field. It’s going to be really tough when you’re shooting that poorly to be able to be successful.”

The Lakers built a six-point lead midway through the second half off of back-to-back three-pointers by junior guard Briauna Taylor.

Taylor, who turned in her third double-double of the season with 19 points and 10 rebounds, said her confidence to knock down three-pointers has increased in recent games.

However, five turnovers in the last seven minutes of play negated Taylor’s contributions from beyond the arc and aided an Lake Superior State comeback.

“We have to eliminate turnovers,” Burgess said. “This is the first game in the last four games that we’ve had 19 turnovers. We’ve been holding ourselves to 12 and 13 turnovers here in this last little swing.”

While shooting woes and turnovers plagued the Lakers, sophomore guard Breanna Kellogg’s defensive effort held Maria Blazejewski, Lake Superior State’s 17 points-per-game scorer, to a single basket in the first half.

“I’m definitely a defensive minded player,” Kellogg said. “Every game I’m going into I just want to hold whoever I’m guarding scoreless. I always try to play the best defense I can and when I need help my teammates are there.”

The Lakers dropped a 57-50 decision to Saginaw Valley State University (5-16, 3-11 GLIAC) on Thursday.

In early January, when GVSU met up with the Cardinals, junior center Alex Stelfox’s buzzer-beating shot propelled the Lakers to 51-50 victory.

There were no heroics for the Lakers this time around.

GVSU struggled to score from the opening tip, mustering 17 points in the first half and ending the game shooting a season-low 25 percent from the floor.

For Burgess, working through offensive struggles is part of a process as the Lakers try to overcome knee injuries suffered by juniors Alex Stelfox, Lauren Stodola and Brittany Taylor and a shoulder injury that has limited the play of sophomore Kellie Watson.

“I think it just comes down to continuing to learn the new situations that we’re in,” she said. “We’re asking kids to shoot the ball when they haven’t been used to shooting the ball. So it’s very tough.”

Fifth-year senior Kara Crawford led the Lakers in their loss to the Cardinals with 16 points and ten rebounds.

GVSU will be back in action against Ashland University on Thursday at 6 p.m. in the Fieldhouse Arena.

[email protected]