Burgess earns wins No. 100 and 101
GVL / Robert Mathews
As the Grand Valley State women’s basketball team season is coming to a close, the Lakers stayed in the hunt for the GLIAC North title and accomplished a career milestone in the process.
This past weekend, GVSU defeated Lake Superior State (5-18, 4-15 GLIAC) 69-56 on Thursday, which subsequently resulted in being head coach Janel Burgess’ 100th win.
“It means a lot to all of us in the program,” said junior Dani Crandall, who led the Lakers with 12 points and eight rebounds. “From top to bottom we all put the work in, it’s really great for (Coach Burgess) to achieve this accomplishment.”
After defeating Lake Superior State, GVSU would then travel to Northwood University (11-14, 9-10 GLIAC) on Saturday and secured a 60-57 win. The victory avenged an earlier 74-65 loss in Allendale to Northwood.
“This was a huge game for us, as is every game in the GLIAC,” said senior Briaunna Taylor who led GVSU with 24 points. “We had a bitter taste in our mouths from the last time we saw them. We set out to get revenge on what was taken from us earlier in the season.”
Northwood scored the first five points of the second half to give themselves a 37-29 lead. GVSU found themselves 50-38 with only nine minutes to play, but managed to score the next 12 points of the game to draw even.
“It was a tremendous, gutsy performance from every single person on our team,” Burgess said. “Throughout the game, we all stayed composed, which in the end is what I thought was key to the victory.”
With Northwood holding a 55-53 lead late in the second half, Taylor would score six straight points to give the Lakers a 59-55 lead with only 56 seconds left to play.
“We never let up,” said Taylor. “We just kept fighting and fighting, trying to find a way to win. It was all about redemption. That was our main focus.”
Taylor was a huge factor in the Laker’s success as she tallied in a game high 24 points, and also notched seven rebounds and dished out 4 assists for the Lakers, in what may arguably be her most sound game this season.
“Absolutely phenomenal,” said Burgess of Taylor’s performance. “I don’t think that anyone can really understand how well she played tonight. She flat out refused to lose.”
Northwood’s defense managed to give GVSU issues throughout the game. The Lakers committed 24 turnovers in the contest.
“Credit their defensive tenacity,” Taylor said. “We got a tad sloppy at times, but overall, we were able to regroup and come out with the victory.”
The Lakers now just have one away game left on their schedule, which will be played next Thursday against rival Saginaw Valley State University before coming home for their last home stretch of the season.