GVSU men’s hoops wins off last second shot, loses on one in first two GLIAC games

GVL / Luke Holmes - Luke Ryskamp (23) runs onto the court as the starting lineup is announced. GVSU defeated Trinity Christian on Friday, Nov. 18, 2016.

Luke Holmes

GVL / Luke Holmes – Luke Ryskamp (23) runs onto the court as the starting lineup is announced. GVSU defeated Trinity Christian on Friday, Nov. 18, 2016.

Beau Troutman

Grand Valley State men’s basketball experienced both the high of winning on a buzzer beater and the low of losing on one, all in one weekend.

The Lakers defeated the Findlay Oilers 61-58 on a clutch 3-pointer from senior Luke Ryskamp with 2.2 seconds remaining in their first GLIAC game Thursday, Dec. 1, and then lost to the Ohio Dominican Panthers 62-59 Saturday, Dec. 3 on a 3-pointer as time expired by Michael Simon. Both games were played at Fieldhouse Arena in Allendale.

In the first game against Findlay, both teams were point-for-point with each other through the entire 40 minutes. The game saw 18 lead changes, six ties and only three players scored over 10 points between the two teams.

Tied 58-58 with just 20 seconds remaining, Oilers forward Taren Sullivan missed a 3-pointer and GVSU senior Trevin Alexander got the rebound and passed it off to Ryskamp, who brought it up the floor. He nearly lost control of it, but got the ball into the hands of point guard Myles Miller, who called a timeout.

“Trevin got that big rebound, I looked at him and said, ‘we got to get this done,’” Ryskamp said.

Before the last play, Ryskamp was 2-of-12 from the field and 0-for-6 from behind the arc, but it was never in doubt who the Lakers would turn to for the final shot. The Lakers inbounded the ball and got it to Ryskamp, who had a one-on-one with a defender. He used a crossover to create space, pulled up and took the shot.

The ball kissed the bottom of the net with 2.2 seconds on the clock. The Oilers were able to get a decent look at a 3-pointer on the ensuing possession, but the ball clanked off the rim, ending the game.

“I saw the clock, and I kind of fumbled (the ball) a little bit, and then I got a hold on it, and I don’t even know what I did, but I did what I did,” Ryskamp said. “I maybe not have made a shot before that, but it doesn’t even matter. I could’ve shot nothing and just made the one. That’s all that really matters.”

Ryskamp finished with seven points, seven rebounds and two steals. Reserve center Justin Greason, the only Laker to finish in double figures, had 12 points, six rebounds and two blocks.

In the second game against Panthers, the Lakers found themselves in a familiar situation.

Tied 59-59 with 30 seconds on the clock, the Lakers had a chance to win again on a last-second shot. They got the ball inside to center Drake Baar, who had success inside all night, and just missed a hook shot. Miller was in the right place at the right time for the rebound, stepped into his dribble and pulled up—but his shot hit iron, and the Panthers rebounded and called timeout.

On the last possession of the game, the Panthers swung the ball around until it found Simon in the far corner. With only a few ticks of the clock left, Simon, who nearly had his shot blocked, let a 3-pointer fly. The buzzer sounded, and the ball dropped through the basket to give GVSU its first conference loss.

“It’s gut-wrenching to lose last-second like that,” Baar said.

Simon had not made a single field goal before the last shot.

“That’s the play that’ll stick out in your mind, but a lot of things happened over the course of the game that probably put us in that position,” said GVSU coach Ric Wesley. “We had a couple good looks at the basket, but we didn’t knock them down.

“We talked about it, (Simon), that’s the one thing he can do, and we talked about it in the timeout. To his credit, he stepped up and knocked it in.”

The Lakers had 19 total personal fouls, many of them drawing the ire of the crowd, to the Panthers’ 11—the Panthers shot 20 free throws compared to the Lakers’ six.

Baar led with 17 points, 10 rebounds and two steals. Senior Juwan Starks had what Wesley called “maybe his best game as a Laker” with 14 points and a chase-down block that drew a roar from the crowd. Freshman Lance Dollison had 11 points on 4-for-4 shooting, including three 3-pointers that helped GVSU overcome a 33-25 halftime deficit.

GVSU will hit the road next weekend to face Hillsdale Thursday, Dec. 8 and Walsh Saturday, Dec. 10.