Offense falters as GVSU women’s basketball splits road trip

GVL / Sheila Babbitt

GVL / Sheila Babbitt

Brady McAtamney

After 14 consecutive wins and nine straight conference victories, including a 53-35 stuffing of the Michigan Tech Huskies on Thursday, Jan. 17, the No. 9 ranked Grand Valley State women’s basketball team lost a game at the hands of the Northern Michigan Wildcats, falling 56-43 in Marquette, Mich. on Saturday, Jan. 19. 

The Upper Peninsula weekend-long road trip began well for GVSU, as the team held the Huskies to only 35 points, the second fewest points allowed by the Lakers all season. They never allowed MTU to score more than 11 points in a single quarter and they held their opponents to only 15 in the entire second half. 

“I’ll tell you, it’s about the most pop we’ve had all year, even including the Ashland game,” said head coach Mike Williams. “I thought we just had crazy pop. Active hands and active feet, our rotations were good, we were really locked in defensively. We started the game and two kids who don’t normally hit threes hit threes; after that, we locked in.”

As a result of the Lakers’ tenacious defense, the Huskies shot a putrid 26.9 percent in the game on only 14 made shots while committing 15 turnovers. 

GVSU didn’t light up the scoreboard themselves, as the 53 points were a season low at the time. They made only 17 shots on two assists with 15 turnovers of their own, but guard Jenn DeBoer was able to take over and carry the offense, scoring 27 points on 11 makes. Center Cassidy Boensch added 12 points, 21 rebounds and five steals while forward Maddie Dailey scored 11 with eight boards. 

“Jenn did a good job reading the situations,” Williams said. “She hunted shots, she made them, the rest of our team didn’t. That happens, that’s part of the game. I thought she made good reads coming off ball screens whether she went up or got to the rim. I thought that she was the one player offensively who was getting us baskets and she did a good job.”

Once Saturday came around, the offense faltered again, as the 43 points scored took over the season-low spot from Thursday. Boensch and Dailey scored a combined 37 points with 25 and 12 respectively. Only two other Lakers scored. 

“We’ve got to be a little tougher, myself included,” Williams said. “They’re really good, they’re good at their place, they’ve played probably a more tested schedule than we have. They’ve played a lot of games on the road so they’re battle tested and I’m not sure that we are, but I think this will help us a great deal to become battle tested and learn from it.”

The Lakers’ 43 points is the fewest they have scored in a game since Feb. 2015 and their 93 points in the weekend series is the fewest they’ve scored in a two-game span this season. 

Now at 16-2 (9-1 GLIAC), GVSU will have a few extra days than usual to prepare for their next game on Saturday, Jan. 26 against the Davenport Panthers (5-12, 3-7) in Grand Rapids. Tip-off is scheduled for 1 p.m.