Late surge leads GV Women’s Basketball to win


GVL Archives

Justice Steiner, Staff Writer

The no. 16 ranked Grand Valley State University (11-1) women’s basketball team traveled to Midland, Michigan to take on Northwood University (6-6) this past Thursday, Jan. 6 as the Lakers defeated the Timberwolves 65-53.

Although the Lakers won the game by double digits, the game was much closer than the final score indicates. Heading into the fourth quarter, GVSU held a slim three-point lead over NU. However, the Lakers began the fourth quarter with an imposing 11-0 run. 

Head coach Mike Williams said the key to the fast start in the final quarter of play was continuing the momentum they had built late in the third quarter. 

“I thought defensively we covered their shooters well; we didn’t foul them and put them on the free-throw line,” Williams said. “Offensively we were really aggressive, our eyes were up, we attacked the rim, and we made the extra pass which led to good looks, and they went in.” 

Prior to the fourth quarter, the game was tightly contested, and the Timberwolves controlled the game early in the first quarter as they jumped out to an early 14-6 lead over the Lakers. 

A potential factor in the slow start for the Lakers was a long break between contests, as the last game they played was on Dec. 20, nearly three weeks prior. The team had a game scheduled on Dec. 31, but it was canceled due to COVID-19 related issues within Central State University’s roster.

“The beginning of the game was definitely a slower start for our team,” said freshman guard Ellie Droste. “But I think we just need to get our feet under us and get a few of the nerves out just because we haven’t played a game in a really long time.”

Heading into halftime the Lakers trailed 24-25 before starting slow coming out of the break and falling behind 30-39 with 5:01 remaining in the third quarter. 

GVSU would go on to finish the quarter with two free throws in the closing seconds by freshman forward Rylie Bisballe to conclude a 15-5 run and give the Lakers the three-point lead before the dominating fourth quarter. 

Droste led the way for the Lakers, nearly doubling her season average of 9.5 points per game with a team-high 18 points, shooting eight of 13 from the field and making two of her five three-point attempts.

“When I made my first three of the night, seeing that first shot go in its automatically a ton of added confidence,” Droste said. “It made me a lot more comfortable to continue taking those shots as well.” 

Disballe had a well-rounded night, finishing with 13 points, six rebounds, three steals and two blocks. Junior guard Emily Spitzley chipped in with 13 points and five rebounds, while freshman guard Hadley Miller added a nice spark off the bench finishing with 10 points, three rebounds, and three assists. 

Following the victory, the Lakers will now look ahead to an important week of their schedule as they take on a pair of rivals; Davenport University (1-11) and Ferris State University (11-3). 

Williams said a big focus heading into this week is continuing to get better, as well as focusing on the teams’ competitiveness on the offensive end of the court.

“Every game we talk about ‘let’s just keep getting better’ so I think we have to keep doing that,” Williams said.

Both games will take place at the GVSU Fieldhouse as the Lakers are set to host the Panthers on Monday, Jan. 10 before the showdown with the Bulldogs on Thursday, Jan. 13.