Women’s Basketball sweeps regular-season series with Ferris State


GVL / Sydney Lim

Justice Steiner, Staff Writer

The no. 8 Grand Valley State University (19-1) vs. Ferris State University (15-7) rivalry was once again put into action on Feb. 5 as the women’s basketball team traveled to Big Rapids to take on the Bulldogs for the second time this season. 

Although the final score may not indicate it, GVSU controlled much of the game. The Bulldogs made their biggest push early in the contest as they took their first lead with 6:56 remaining in the second quarter behind a commanding 11-3 run.

However, it didn’t last long as senior guard Emily Spitzley swished a three-point basket from the right-wing on the ensuing possession to help the Lakers regain the lead with the score at 26-24 with 6:37 remaining in the first half.

“It was definitely a game of runs,” Spitzley said. “We knew they were going to have some shots at us and we were just going to have to come back and stay steady with our game and do what we do.”

That 19-second span would be the only lead for the Bulldogs as a balanced Lakers offense continually held off any momentum the Bulldogs tried to establish.

“I think our kids’ willingness to take shots and good shots (was the key to success); they don’t take bad shots,” said coach Mike Williams. “They’re willing to hunt shots this year that they weren’t last year and earlier this year.” 

Towards the end of the third quarter, the Lakers began to separate themselves. Sophomore guard Ellie Droste had a bounce pass out of a double team to fellow sophomore guard Hadley Miller on a backdoor cut which led to a layup and eight-point Laker lead. 

On the next possession for the Lakers, sophomore Rylie Bisballe had the final basket of the quarter and gave GVSU a double-digit lead heading into the final quarter of play. 

Late in the fourth quarter, the Bulldogs did get within four points, but senior guard Qay Stanton knocked down four consecutive free throws to close out the game and help give the Lakers a 75-68 victory.

“Playing Ferris is always a fun rivalry game, so anytime you can come out of here with a win, it’s so much fun,” Spitzley said. 

The victory gives the Lakers a regular-season sweep over the Bulldogs and expands on their impressive winning streak as they’ve now won 14 consecutive games. 

Williams said he feels as though his team has not felt the pressure of being a top-10 team in the country on a lengthy winning streak.

“These kids, they’re unique, I don’t think they feel it (pressure),” Williams said. “They might as it goes on, they might start seeing some of that stuff, but I think they’re just enjoying basketball right now.”

Spitzley led the way for the Lakers with 18 points, three rebounds and two assists. Bisballe added 15 points, five rebounds and three steals, while senior Hannah Kulas chipped in with 11 points, including three three-point baskets. 

The energy of the Lakers bench also contributed to their victory. Cheering, motivating and celebrating their teammates seemed to be the X-factor in the hostile environment. 

“Our bench puts in so much work,” Spitzley said. “In practice, getting us ready for this game and then (during the game) on the bench they lift us up when we’re down. When Ferris would make a run, they remind us to keep our head in it.”

Looking ahead, the Lakers will host Northern Michigan University (8-11) on Feb. 10 before facing off against Michigan Technological University (12-8) on Feb. 12 for the annual sawyers day game.