Slow second half start plagues GVSU in GLIAC showdown
The Grand Valley State University men’s basketball team’s strong second half starts have been a signature of their successful season thus far.
On Saturday against Wayne State University (13-3, 12-1 GLIAC), the GLIAC North division leader, GVSU (14-4, 11-3) was on the wrong end of a second half run that resulted in a 62-56 defeat.
Wayne State held a 30-26 advantage at halftime, but would come out and start the second half on a 15-0 run, giving them a substantial 45-26 lead. GVSU did not score until the 13:13 mark in the second half, when junior Rob Woodson converted a layup.
“Came out the start of the second half and we could just not get our offense going,” said head coach Ric Wesley. “They went on a little bit of a run and created some separation. We couldn’t get any of our shooters to get going. Give Wayne State a lot of credit, they’re an outstanding defensive team.”
Facing a 19-point deficit, the Lakers didn’t pack it in. After a dunk from senior Tyrone Lee and another Woodson layup, GVSU cut the deficit to single digits at 50-41 with 5:25 remaining in the game.
“To our guys credit, I thought we really battled back and made it interesting, but that early second half stretch proved to be the difference in the game,” Wesley said.
Wayne State also held a large margin on the glass, outrebounding the Lakers 41 to 27, including an 11-3 edge on offensive rebounds.
Lee was one of three Lakers in double digits and led the team with 11 points. Freshman Ricardo Carbajal and senior Breland Hogan added 10 points.
“They came out the second half with a lot of energy,” Lee said. “They were more aggressive on the glass. They had all five guys attacking the glass and we didn’t, so it shows in the stat sheet.”
On Thursday, GVSU dominated their rivals Saginaw Valley State University on their way to a 78-62 victory.
The win marked the 200th victory for Wesley at GVSU.
“It’s hard for me to look at that as an individual accomplishment as much as a program accomplishment,” Wesley said. “All the outstanding players and the assistant coaches and the staff that are involved in the program at Grand Valley had made this last eight and a half years a great time for Grand Valley basketball. I think we can all take a moment to celebrate that and that was kind of in my mind at the time.”
Carbajal scored a career high of 20 points on 9-of-12 shooting to lead GVSU against Saginaw Valley State. It was only the second time a Laker has scored over 20 points this season. Sophomore Ryan Majerle added 15 points off the bench, including a perfect 3-of-3 from three-point range.
“Ricky Carbajal had just an outstanding game,” Wesley said. “Breland I thought had a real steady game as well. Ryan Majerle knocked some shots in, just a really good solid team effort against a very game Saginaw Valley team.”
Hogan was steady all weekend for the Lakers. Against Saginaw Valley State he tallied 13 points, six rebounds, five assists, and two steals. On Saturday against Wayne State, he managed to have another solid all-around game with 10 points, six rebounds, four steals, three assists, and two blocks.
“I think it’s just playing hard each and every play,” Hogan said. “Just taking my opportunities to attack on offense and just staying on the attack. Just being a lockdown defender and rebounding. It’s really about effort.”
The Lakers will next be in action on Saturday when they travel to take on their rival Ferris State University (10-8, 9-5 GLIAC) at 1 p.m.
“I think we just gotta maintain hunger and stay focused and just play each and every game one at a time,” Hogan said. “When we get a chance to play Wayne State again, I guarantee we’ll be ready.”