Women’s basketball storms past Warriors and Cardinals to remain undefeated in GLIAC


GVL / Macayla Cramer

Breanna Hammer, Staff Writer

The Grand Valley State women’s basketball team dominated the court this week at home in two wins against both Wayne State (81-44) and Saginaw Valley State (71-32). 

Following the idea that defense wins games, Head Coach Mike Williams said there are two principles that allowed his team to hold both WSU and SVSU to ten points or less in a combined six of the eight quarters played.

“We talk about two things in practice: one (is) being ready. You have to be ready to play at all times,” Williams said. “Two: helping your team instead of placing blame when something goes wrong. If you add those two together, you have a really good combination.”

This combination is successful in more than one area of defense, as GVSU was able to force 25 turnovers, earn 32 defensive rebounds and steal the ball 14 times against WSU on Jan. 12 – all of which allowed for 36 points off turnovers while also earning 11 fast break points.

The 37-point blowout against the Warriors was led by redshirt freshman guard Nicole Kamin who finished with a game-high 15 points, as senior guard Emily Spitzley tallied 14 points while redshirt freshman guard Lexi Plitzuweit and redshirt sophomore forward Rylie Bisballe contributed 10 points each.

GVSU’s momentum from that night carried into an even bigger win in the following match against the Cardinals, marking the seventh conference game for the Lakers thus far.

Right off the bat, GVSU started the first quarter full of energy as fast hands-on defense and an effort to fight for every loose ball became quite the challenge for SVSU. In the first quarter alone, the Lakers were able to force two shot clock violations and create a strong lead to finish off the first quarter with a 15-point advantage, 23-8. 

The defense continued in the second quarter as the Lakers held SVSU to two successful offensive possessions. Redshirt freshman guard Paige Vanstee recorded three boards, a block and a steal in the second quarter alone as the guard capped off the streaking Lakers’ first 20 minutes of action contributed one of the ten blocks from the game, as well as sealing the second quarter with a pure corner three that laced the net to end the quarter, 32-12.

Spectators noticed a more trusting game plan from Williams as GVSU saw more of an exchange of players from their bench to start the second half. Alongside their strong defense, the Lakers showed versatility as all 15 players saw the floor with 11 Lakers contributing to the offensive explosion.

“These players work all the time in practice,” Williams said. “We tell the players to work until their numbers get called, and when your number’s called, do your best.”

In the fourth and final quarter, GVSU held SVSU to only nine points, sealing the deal with a final score of 71-32.

Solid team chemistry has been a recurring theme for the Lakers this season as a sense of pride was evident for those who witnessed the game, and Spitzley echoes the comments made in previous games this season that this part of the game is what allows for the team’s success overall.

“We all celebrate each other’s successes, no matter who’s in, who’s on the bench, or what the score is,” Spitzley said. “Our energy is always poppin’ and I think that’s one of the things that makes this team so special.”

GVSU will hit the road for two matchups next week as they play Northern Michigan Jan. 19 and Michigan Tech Jan. 21 with a current 16-1 overall record.