GVSU women’s basketball splits weekend set

GVL / Dylan McIntyre. Grand Valley vs. Lewis on Sunday, Nov. 19, 2017.

GVL / Dylan McIntyre. Grand Valley vs. Lewis on Sunday, Nov. 19, 2017.

Brady McAtamney

The Ashland University women’s basketball team is pretty good.

Coming into their Thursday, Jan. 11, matchup with a vengeful Grand Valley State squad, they were riding a Division II record 52-game win streak that the Lakers were keen on snapping. Besides, three of those wins came against the Lakers during the 2016-17 season: one in the regular season, one in the GLIAC tournament and one in the NCAA tournament.

Unfortunately for GVSU, they were unable to upend the Eagles, taking an 83-67 defeat to snap a six-game win streak of their own. The battle was hard-fought, especially in the first quarter when the lead swung back and forth a few times, but a 24-13 run in the second quarter eventually sealed the deal.

Sophomore guard Jenn DeBoer led the Lakers with 19 points while also nabbing four rebounds and swiping three steals. Forwards Taylor Parmley, Korynn Hincka and Cassidy Boensch all contributed heavily, as well, with 16 points and nine rebounds, 7 and eight, and 12 and seven, respectively.

“For the most part, we just did a great job sticking it out,” Parmley said. “In the third quarter, we came out and gave it our best effort. It didn’t last the whole game, but we gave it a good effort. We gave it all we had today. We made some silly, inexperienced turnovers down the stretch, but I’m proud of the effort we gave. Ashland is a really good team, and they caused a ruckus.”

For a team with only two seniors, it can be difficult to stick around in tight games against elite teams like Ashland, and the Lakers’ youth reared its head at times during the battle.

“We don’t have the maturity yet, and it showed in stretches on the game,” said GVSU head coach Mike Williams. “This team just doesn’t quite have that yet, but I think we took some steps toward that this game. We showed some toughness and some more character.”

Things changed on Saturday, Jan. 13, when GVSU made a short inter-Ohio trip to Tiffin, where they dominated the Dragons 73-40.

The Lakers opened up the game with a 20-7 first quarter and led during every second of the game where the score was anything but double zeroes. Regarding whether or not the team showed maturity with the bounce-back victory, Williams did not stutter.

“We did,” Williams said. “Once again, our kids played with a lot of energy, which they always do, and we were more vocal in this game, especially in the second half. I thought we stepped up and owned some things as the game went on.

“I thought our offense was good. We need to get some 3’s to drop, but we got some good looks. I thought we did what we had to do, and obviously we’ve got to get better every day we practice, but we did what we needed to do today.”

Boensch and Hincka scored 15 points each, while Boensch pulled down 11 rebounds to secure her first career double-double at GVSU.

Overall, the Lakers dominated in the post, scoring 48 points in the paint to Tiffin’s 40 points total, and did not allow a single offensive rebound, which led to a 49-to-27 rebounding advantage for the Lakers.

“I think we got inside the paint and finished really well,” Boensch said. “Coach mentioned that they had no offensive rebounds, which is crazy, and we just finished plays. We were just focused on what we do, and we had to just bounce back, which requires a lot of energy, which we had in the second half.”

GVSU’s domination of Tiffin allowed every player on the Lakers’ active roster to log minutes, with 10 different players scoring points for GVSU.

Following the weekend split, the Lakers now sit at 14-3 (7-2 GLIAC) on the season. They will be in action again on Thursday, Jan. 18, when Lake Superior State (0-13, 0-7 GLIAC) visits for the second Downtown Thursday at the DeltaPlex Arena at 6 p.m.