GVSU uses 28-0 run to down Trinity Christian 85-48

Beau Troutman

The Grand Valley state men’s basketball team was tied 39-39 with the Trinity Christian Trolls at the 15-minute mark of the second half.

Even the Lakers had a hard time explaining what happened next.

The Lakers (2-2) went on a 28-0 scoring run as part of a 60-point second half in their 85-48 blowout over the Trolls (1-4) Friday, Nov. 18 at Fieldhouse Arena. It is the Lakers’ second win in a row after starting the year 0-2.

“Man, we got some stops, next thing you know we scored six or seven points in 50 seconds,” said GVSU senior guard Luke Ryskamp. “They called a timeout, we’re feeling pretty good and then from there it just kind of took off. We just kept peaking, and kept peaking and kept peaking.”

The Lakers were down 31-25 at halftime, and the big three of Ryskamp, senior Trevin Alexander and sophomore Zach West combined for just two points and were 0-for-4 from the field. Nineteen of the Trolls’ 31 first-half points came off the hot hands of Trey Johnson (10) and Jordan Perry (9), who both consistently capitalized on open looks from beyond the arc.

Enter the second half.

Alexander scored a quick two points right out of the gate, and then Ryskamp banged home a triple and then a layup to regain the lead 32-31. West got in on the action too, hitting a deep 3-pointer for his first points of the game.

The Trolls tied the game at 39 with a 3-pointer from Myles Birgans—that was the last bucket for the Trolls before an eight-minute dry spell, signaling the start of the Lakers’ 28-point barrage.

During the scoring run, the Lakers shot 10-of-13 from the field, including 6-of-8 from deep. The Trolls were 0-for-8 from the field with five turnovers.

“From that point on, I thought our defense was pretty solid,” said GVSU coach Ric Wesley. “(The Trolls) weren’t getting really easy opportunities, they weren’t able to break us down off the dribble, our switches were good, we were able to keep our defense pretty tight.”

The Trolls’ Johnson and Perry started the game hot, but combined for just three points on 1-for-8 shooting with four turnovers in the second half.

In total, the Lakers outscored the Trolls 60-17 in the second half. Ryskamp (15), Alexander (10) and West (9) combined for 34 points, almost all of which was in the second half. The Lakers shot 53 percent for the game, while the Trolls only managed 26 percent, including 10-for-38 in 3-pointers.

Alexander recorded his first double-double of the season (10 points, 10 rebounds). Junior Danzel Wright scored 14 points off the bench. Junior Drake Baar made his first start of the season at center in place of sophomore Justin Greason, who started the first three games.

“I think I had a decent game,” Baar said. “A lot of things to work on, a lot of things to improve upon, but I gave a good effort.”

Baar finished with 12 points, four rebounds and three blocks on the night. He made consistent use of a pretty jump hook, and looked calm defending the paint.

“In the first half, I thought he was one of our bright spots,” Wesley said. “He’s working hard, getting his work done before the ball comes to him, so that when it gets to him, he finds himself with some easy opportunities.”

The Lakers host the Grace Bible Tigers Monday, Nov. 21 at 7 p.m. for their last non-conference home game.