GVSU women’s basketball caps off break with wins over Ferris State, Lake Superior State

GVL / Dan Pacheco

GVL / Dan Pacheco

Brady McAtamney

After finishing 3-0 during the holiday season, the N0. 10 Grand Valley State women’s basketball team played two significant games in the final week of winter break, defeating rival the Ferris State Bulldogs on Thursday, Jan. 3 at home 76-61 and then heading out on the road for their first away game in over a month to take down the Lake Superior State Lakers 71-50 on Saturday, Jan. 5 in a rare home-and-away weekend. 

“They’re two good wins,” said GVSU head coach Mike Williams. “(We played) two good teams; one at home, one on the road. The one at home was a rivalry game that’s always tough then we come up here and play real well.”

With the two teams being in different divisions for the first time in school history, the Lakers and Bulldogs meeting was the only one they’ll have in the 2018-19 regular season. With that in mind, GVSU started out strong, ending the first quarter with a 26-13 advantage. Things would quickly even out, though, as the remaining periods finished with scores of 15-14, 15-12 and 20-22. 

“I definitely felt us get stagnant on offense after that first quarter,” said forward Maddie Dailey. “I don’t know if that was the defense or we were tired.”

Obviously, it would not matter as the early advantage ended up being enough to give GVSU the win – and rivalry bragging rights. 

Center Cassidy Boensch led the way for the Lakers, scoring 25 points on 66 percent shooting with 10 rebounds and two blocks. Dailey added 19 while guard Jenn DeBoer scored 15 with six assists. 

While the team had 20 assists on 25 baskets, they also turned the ball over and uncharacteristic 19 times against FSU’s scrappy defense which included a full-court press. 

“I think they changed up a little bit what they were doing on defense. We got a little slow with the ball, we were sticking – not moving it very well,” Boensch said. “We knew that they were going to press eventually because they always do, it’s always a battle against Ferris, so we knew that we had to make ourselves available and we had to help out those guards because when they get trapped, we have to be a release valve for them.”

GVSU would have time to think about their missteps and what improvements to make on the five hour bus ride up to Sault St. Marie, Mich. where the other GLIAC Lakers awaited them. 

Inversely from Thursday, things started slowly before GVSU pulled away in the middle quarters, taking a 12 point lead into halftime and winning by 21. 

Boensch again led the game in points, putting up 21 with seven rebounds. Guard Victoria Hademark and DeBoer each chipped in 14. 

“I thought (our team) did a really good job,” Williams said. “They did a lot of little things. They rebounded well, they got to loose balls, we got our hands on passes, I thought we made a lot of hustle plays or effort plays by playing hard. 

“We talked about this being a tough place to play. You travel up here, the first time we’ve been on the road in a long time and I thought our kids handled it well. I thought Lake State played well, it was a really good college basketball game.”

Now at 13-1 (6-0 GLIAC), the Lakers remain alone atop the GLIAC South Division standings following an undefeated winter break. They’ll return to Fieldhouse Arena to host the Saginaw Valley State Cardinals (3-10, 3-3) on Thursday, Jan. 10 and the Northwood Timberwolves (6-8, 3-3) on Saturday, Jan. 12. Both games are scheduled to begin at 6 p.m.