GVSU set to host GLIAC leading Wayne State
All season long, Wayne State University has been the cream of the crop at the top of the men’s basketball GLIAC North standings.
With two wins this weekend, Grand Valley State University men’s basketball can take major strides in changing that.
GVSU (16-7, 13-6 GLIAC) currently sits in a tie for second in the GLIAC North along with Michigan Tech University and Ferris State University. All three teams currently sit at 13-6 in the GLIAC and trail Wayne State (15-6, 14-4 GLIAC).
The Lakers will host Wayne State on Saturday at 1 p.m., where the Lakers are 11-1 on their home court. But before GVSU can set their sights on Wayne State, they have to take care of their rivals Saginaw Valley State University (11-11, 9-10 GLIAC) on Thursday.
“Coming down to the end of the season, every game is magnified,” said head coach Ric Wesley. “Saginaw Valley is a team that has seemed to really have found their way here recently. They’re a tough team to matchup with. They’re small, skilled, fast and playing with a lot of confidence right now.”
Saginaw Valley State has won their last three games, including victories over Michigan Tech and Wayne State.
GVSU defeated Saginaw Valley State 78-62 in an earlier contest in Allendale. Freshman Ricardo Carbajal led the Lakers with 20 points and six rebounds in a game where GVSU was in total control right from the start, heading into halftime with a 37-23 advantage.
In their first matchup where Wayne State defeated GVSU 62-56, rebounding made the difference. The Lakers were out-rebounded 41-27, including 11-3 on offensive rebounds.
“We have to rebound better,” Wesley said. “I thought their rebounding absolutely killed us at their place. Even when we did a good job defensively and made them miss, we weren’t able to finish the plays by securing the rebound. We got to block out better and pursue the ball better.”
The road trip to Saginaw Valley State will be the last road game for GVSU this season. The Lakers will then return home to face Wayne State on Saturday and Ferris State next Saturday to wrap up their regular season.
“I can’t wait to play Wayne,” said senior Tyrone Lee. “It’s a great opportunity for us. We’re really excited to have the chance to play them again and this time at home. It’s a great opportunity, but we’re looking at Saginaw and want to take it one game at a time.”
For the GVSU women (17-6, 13-6 GLIAC), they hope the 60-57 comeback victory against Northwood University will spur the team down the final stretch of their season. In a game that saw the Lakers down 12 points late in the game, GVSU responded by scoring the next 12 points in the game to draw even.
“The mentality that we had to have throughout the entire the game, especially the last nine minutes, showed a lot of grit, determination and a lot of never give up mentality,” said head coach Janel Burgess. “I think that game was a huge momentum builder for us as we do head down these final games.”
Similar to the men, the GVSU women had no problems with Saginaw Valley State in their first meeting, handling the Cardinals 74-48.
The Laker women sit at third in the GLIAC, and trail Wayne State (17-5, 15-3). Like the men, they too hope to avenge an earlier 72-59 season loss to the Warriors.
“If we play like we’re capable of, then no one can beat us,” said senior Briauna Taylor. “We just got to get it done.”