Droste leads women’s basketball to 10th road victory


Courtesy / GVSU Athletics

Madeleine Smith, Staff Writer

Grand Valley State University women’s basketball defeated the Davenport Panthers this past weekend 68-46 to mark their 11th conference win and maintain their No. 1 position in the GLIAC standings with a 20-2 record.

The Lakers took control early as a 15-2 scoring run in the first quarter would be the start of a huge performance by GVSU.

“We came out with a lot of energy…we rebounded well and offensively we got the shots we wanted,” said Head Coach Mike Williams. 

Redshirt sophomore guard Ellie Droste scored the first few points of the game, and her intensity carried throughout the entire match as she finished with a team-high 13 points on 100% shooting (4-4 FG).

This energy continued through the second quarter as Davenport had several attempts at the net but the Laker defense continued to hound them and prevented a successful possession. 

“I think the key to intensity is to take one quarter at a time and to be locked in for every play,” said redshirt freshman guard Nicole Kamin. “I also feel that intensity comes from every single person on the team, not just the people on the court.”

Redshirt junior forward Haley Swing added to the team’s 18-6 run in the second quarter with two free throws that would add to her four points of the night. 

“I am always comfortable and confident at the free throw line,” Swing said. “I try not to think too much while shooting, but in the back of my mind I just know I need to make them.”

Holding Davenport to a pedestrian 2-23 from the field in the first half to go into the break with a 33-8 lead, Kamin said the team knew exactly what to do to close out the game in their favor by focusing on defense and allowing the team’s offense to come naturally.

With the third quarter ending 49-24 in favor of the Lakers, the fourth and final period would remain the same as the first three as points were traded until the final buzzer with the scoreboard reading 68-46.

Redshirt freshman guard Paige Vanstee and senior forward Hannah Kulas contributed 10 points each to the win with senior guard Emily Spitzley adding nine points of her own. 

Redshirt freshman guard Rylie Bisballe was also a huge contributor for the Lakers with a near double-double performance of eight points and 10 rebounds.

Even with the huge win on the road, GVSU will need to prepare for tougher days ahead as their shooting numbers finished at 44% from the field and a season-low three pointers made (25%).

“We’re always happy with a win, but we have to remember not to play the score,” Swing said. “We’ll get back in the gym for practice on Monday to start preparing for a big game against Michigan Tech on Thursday.”

43 bench points, 38 points in the paint and 21 points off turnovers as Williams echoed the comments of his player about being prepared for the grinded effort needed to win a game.

“If you play the score then you’re not a good team,” Williams said. “You know we’ve gotta do a better job of not looking at the scoreboard, coming to play, being locked in, the whole game.”

Up next, the Lakers will be at home as they look to redeem themselves against Michigan Tech on Feb. 9 at 6 p.m. as well as Northern Michigan on Feb. 11 at 1 p.m., both at the GVSU Fieldhouse Arena.