Passing, 3-pointers carry GVSU past FSU

GVL/Kevin Sielaff
#15 Lindsay Baker

GVL/Kevin Sielaff #15 Lindsay Baker

Andy Smith

It may have been snowing in Allendale on Monday night, but inside the friendly confines of Fieldhouse Arena, it was raining 3-pointers.

The Grand Valley State women’s basketball team dropped 11 trifectas in a 69-59 win over Ferris State. The Laker women were outscored 38-20 in the paint, but their defensive effort and ability to connect from long range made the difference.

The Lakers were led by senior forward Kat LaPrairie, who scored 15 points on the night. LaPrairie paced the team with four triples, three of which came in the second half.

“It took me a little bit to get warm and get my shots to fall, but the team told me to keep shooting,” she said. 

It seemed every time Ferris State tried to get back in the game, LaPrairie hit a 3-pointer to extend the Laker lead. The senior scored eight of GVSU’s final 15 points in the last six minutes of the game, including back-to-back triples that helped the Lakers hold on.

“Our great ball movement and team play helped set up the outside shot,” said GVSU coach Janel Burgess. “We started slow from beyond the arc, but our shooters need to have amnesia in a sense if they miss a 3-pointer. They have to forget their last shot and get ready for their next shot — the shots will fall for our shooters eventually.”

The defense also stood tall for GVSU, which held the Bulldogs to just 17.6 percent shooting from behind the 3-point line, and 39.7 percent from the field.

“We played great quarter-court defense, we finished crucial possessions and made Ferris earn every point they got,” Burgess said.

Another key contributor on the night for GVSU was junior guard Brionna Barnett, who, like LaPrairie, scored a game-high 15 points. Barnett led the team with eight rebounds and had a game-high five assists, as well.

“We really played well as a team today,” Barnett said. “There are a few things that we need to clean up though. We need to eliminate the opponent’s second-chance points and clean up the rebounds a little better also, but a win is a win and we’re happy to be able to get that.”

The win was yet another example of impressive team play from the Laker women, who continue to climb the conference standings after finishing 14-12 at the conclusion of the 2014 campaign.

For Burgess, it comes down to team-oriented effort game in and game out.

“Overall this was a great, gutsy win for us today,” she said. “We found a way to beat the Bulldogs. We did that with a great overall team attitude. We had a great defensive effort and really played well together as a team and that showed with our 16 assists that we had as a team.

“We are very excited where we are at right now as a team. We rise to challenges and we are eager to finish the season strong. We are not satisfied and need to keep our focus on team defense and finding success as a unit.”

With the win and a Northern Michigan loss, the Lakers take over second place in the GLIAC North Division with an 11-4 conference record and a 14-5 overall mark. The Lakers look to keep their perfect record at home intact when they welcome Northern Michigan on Thursday at 6 p.m.

[email protected]