Jay Bushen


SUBHEAD: LaPrairie, Sabin lift GV teams to 71-70 victories in final minute

By Jay Bushen

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For the Grand Valley State basketball program, it wasn’t enough to stun rival Saginaw Valley State with a late jump shot and an important, late-season victory on the road.

GVSU did it twice. With the same score.

Senior forward Kat LaPrairie’s baseline jumper with 24 seconds left gave the Laker women a 71-70 win against SVSU in Thursday night’s first game at O’Neil Arena. Then, in the nightcap, senior guard Ryan Sabin mimicked the late-game heroics by sinking a shot with 28 seconds remaining to give the GVSU men a 71-70 upset victory.

“I’m just proud of our guys,” said men’s coach Ric Wesley. “A lot of ups and downs, but as I said last week we’ve got a lot of fight left in us. I’m proud of them. That’s what sports are all about. It teaches you to pick yourself up and keep going. This game could have gone either way but, hey, it went our way tonight – put ourselves in position to have a chance.”

With just two regular season contests left on the docket, the women’s team (14-6 GLIAC) improved its chances of hosting a GLIAC Tournament Quarterfinal game. For the Laker men, a loss to SVSU would have snapped a 10-year streak of tournament appearances.

It was certainly a memorable performance for the pair of four-year players, LaPrairie and Sabin, who were honored with their fellow classmates two days later on senior night at Fieldhouse Arena.

“We don’t have many games left,” said Sabin, who finished with eight points and four rebounds. “As seniors, to put our teams in position to get wins – it’s great. We’re going to remember these kinds of moments.”