GVSU women’s basketball dominates Wayne State, sweeps season series

GVL / Emily Frye 
Men’s Basketball vs Wayne State University at the DeltaPlex Arena on Thursday February 8, 2018.

GVL / Emily Frye Men’s Basketball vs Wayne State University at the DeltaPlex Arena on Thursday February 8, 2018.

Brady McAtamney

You wouldn’t like the Lakers when they’re angry.

Coming off a heartbreaking defeat at Michigan Tech one week ago, the Grand Valley State women’s basketball players have won two straight games and have seemingly gotten their groove back with a 71-41 decimation of the Wayne State Warriors at the DeltaPlex Arena in Grand Rapids.

WSU came into the matchup as the fourth-best team in the GLIAC, right behind the Lakers, meaning people expected a hotly contested duel. That notion was put to rest early when GVSU leapt out to a 13-4 lead after the first quarter and never looked back.

“Any time you beat a really good team like Wayne State and play as well as we did, you feel pretty happy,” said head coach Mike Williams. “They’re a really good team. They’ve beaten good teams. They can score. They can defend really well, and I thought our kids stepped up to the challenge.”

The Lakers dominated in virtually every statistical category: assists (13 to three), rebounds (39 to 27), turnovers forced (21 to 14), points off turnovers (27 to 12), points in the paint (30 to 20), second-chance points (16 to 6), field-goal percentage (45.5 to 34.7), 3-point percentage (34.8 to 18.2) and more.

“We finally talked about the importance of getting stops,” Williams said. “I think we were worrying too much about missing shots, turning the ball over, fumbling it off our foot, and we just said, ‘That stuff’s going to happen.’ We’ve just got to get stops, and I think our kids are taking more of a mindset on that, and I think we’ve actually been better offensively when we’ve done that because we’re not worrying so much about missing shots and turning the ball over.”

Guard Jenn DeBoer led the Lakers with 16 points on only seven shots while adding five rebounds, three assists and two steals. Her backcourt mate, Natalie Koenig, scored 12 points, the last of which was the 1,000th point of her career.

Additionally, center Cassidy Boensch scored 11 points and hauled in nine rebounds, while forward Maddie Dailey added 10 points.

“I think we just played with a lot of energy on both offense and defense,” DeBoer said. “On defense, we got a lot of stops as a team. We really worked together as a team on defense, which led to a lot of opportunities on offense that we captured on. I thought we had a lot of energy, everyone. That was a big key.”

Now at 20-4 (13-3 GLIAC) after beating the Davenport Panthers 56-47 on Saturday, Feb. 10, the Lakers have secured their spot in the 2018 GLIAC Conference Tournament for the fourth consecutive season. As previously mentioned, they sit in third place behind Ashland (three games behind) and Michigan Tech (one game behind), and are two games ahead of both Wayne State and Northwood.

The Lakers will play four more games in the regular season—two at home and two on the road—starting with a home series against the first-place Ashland Eagles (24-0, 16-0 GLIAC) on Thursday, Feb. 15, at 8 p.m. and the Tiffin Dragons (8-16, 4-12 GLIAC) on Saturday, Feb. 17, at 3 p.m.