Hogan makes plays down stretch in win over Cedarville
When crunch time came, Breland Hogan showed up.
The senior floor leader was instrumental down the stretch in completing the 69-66 comeback victory for the Grand Valley State University men’s basketball team over Cedarville University on Saturday.
Hogan scored 10 of the team’s final 19 points in the last three minutes of regulation and the overtime segment.
“I just gotta stay aggressive,” Hogan said. “I had an opportunity to win the game and change the momentum around and I just took advantage of it and made it happened.”
The Lakers (3-1) found themselves against the ropes late in the game when they trailed Cedarville (2-4) 47-38 with just over six minutes to play, but one of sophomore Ryan Sabin’s five trifectas sparked a 10-0 GVSU run. Sabin managed to score a game-high and career-high 19 points, while converting 5-7 attempts from deep.
“We were focused,” Sabin said. “I think we all had the mindset that we refused to lose this game. I think that’s what happened. Everyone was focused in, tuned in, and they all did their part.”
The win avenges last year’s loss to Cedarville, who went on to win the Division I National Christian College Athletic Association National Championship. The Yellow Jackets defeated the Lakers 71-58.
Early on, it looked like history would repeat itself, as both teams struggled in the first half and Cedarville took a 19-16 lead into the half. GVSU was limited to 21 percent shooting from the field in the first half, but their counterparts weren’t much better, as Cedarville converted only 28 percent of its attempts.
“The first half, offensively we didn’t play together very well,” said head coach Ric Wesley. “The ball wasn’t moving. Guys were breaking the offense trying to do too much on their own. Second half I thought the ball moved a little bit better. We shared it. Guys picked their spots and recognized their opportunities a little bit better.”
For the game, GVSU managed to bump their field goal percentage up to 45 percent after making 13-20 shots in the second half.
What was one of the Lakers biggest weaknesses in their previous game against Kuyper College, was a key to their victory against Cedarville.
The Lakers made just 4 of 15 attempts from the charity stripe against Kuyper. However, GVSU managed to turn that around and convert 20-of-26 attempts from the free throw line, including when it mattered most in overtime, going a perfect 5-for-5 from the line.
This was the last non-conference game for GVSU. From here on out, the Lakers will be in GLIAC conference play. Their first conference matchup will be against Ashland University this Thursday.
For a young, new team, this game could be a precursor for the type of tough conference battles that are to come for the Lakers.
“Now we know we can come out on top, and now we’re a better team for that,” Sabin said. “We have more experience. Now when we have a game that comes down to wire, now we’re gonna know. We’ve been here before. We had experience with this, so it’s going to do a lot for us.”