Defense leads the way for GVSU men
All season long it seems, the Grand Valley State University’s men’s basketball team has had a different player step up.
This past weekend, it was sophomore Ricardo Carbajal’s turn to step up for the Lakers, as GVSU (13-3, 10-2 GLIAC) extended their winning streak to five games, with a 71-62 victory over Lake Superior State University (9-6, 7-5) on Thursday, and a 59-49 win over Northwood University (6-10, 5-7 GLIAC) on Saturday.
On Saturday, three consecutive plays by Carbajal essentially sealed the game for GVSU. After Northwood cut the lead to seven, Carbajal grabbed an offensive rebound and scored on a layup.
On the next possession, he would secure the defensive rebound and assist junior Rob Woodson for the three-point basket, which would turn out to be the deciding dagger for the Lakers as they led 55-43 with two and a half minutes left.
Carbajal managed to score all 12 of his points in the second half.
“I struggled to get energized in the first half,” Carbajal said. “In the second half, I came out determined with energy.”
With sophomore forward Darius Norman being out for the rest of the year with a torn meniscus, and senior Tyrone Lee battling an injured ankle, Carbajal has came up big for the shorthanded Lakers.
“Coach always tell us to be ready anytime because anything can happen anytime in the season,” Carbajal said. “Seeing your captain out (Lee), I have to do everything I can to keep this team going.”
The Lakers held a 28-25 lead at the half, but GVSU jumped out to a 9-2 run to start the half, and held Northwood to a pedestrian 7-of-28 shooting from the field in the second half. Northwood would only manage to shoot 31 percent from the field for the game.
“Both teams really fought hard,” said head coach Ric Wesley. “Northwood has a solid team. I’m happy with how we played. Our defense was strong and seemed to get stronger as the game went on.”
Sophomore Ryan Sabin led the Lakers with 13 points, including a perfect 6-of-6 from the free throw line. He managed to score nine of his 13 points in the second half.
“I just take what the defense gives me,” Sabin said. “When I saw an opportunity to drive, I just took it. We were playing well defensively, so anytime we can get some offense, it helps our defense, so it was big.”
On Thursday, the low post presence of Zeidaks and Carbajal proved to be too much for Lake Superior State. Zeidaks led the Lakers with 16 points and 10 rebounds, while Carbajal added 13 points and eight rebounds.
“Kris Zeidaks had some big plays down the stretch for us,” Wesley said. “Guys just stepped up for us again. Our frontline really played big for us and was a little bit overpowering. We haven’t been a real strong overpowering team, but in that particular game we really scored well in and around the basket.
The Lakers are currently on a five game winning streak, and will put that on the line Thursday when they host rival Saginaw Valley State University at 6 p.m. in Allendale.
Pictures of the Year 2012-2013
8:00 am | MBA Information Meeting: AM session
10:00 am | SAP Farm Stand
5:30 pm | MBA Information Meeting: PM Session
11:00 am | GVSU Track & Field at NCAA Championships
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