Lee’s career day not enough for GVSU
For a team that’s made a habit of winning games with their strong play in the second half, the Grand Valley State University men’s basketball team found out what’s like to be on the other side of it.
GVSU (16-7, 13-6 GLIAC) led Northwood University 25-24 at the half, but Northwood (11-12, 10-9 GLIAC) would outscore the Lakers 23-9 in the first part of the second half on their way to a 60-52 victory.
“In the second half, I thought they really got aggressive and really pounded the ball inside on us,” said head coach Ric Wesley. “I thought their physicality both ways kind of bothered us. We struggled to keep the ball out of the paint offensively and defensively. Other than Tyrone, we couldn’t get good looks around the basket.”
Senior Tyrone Lee recorded career-highs in points and rebounds as he led the Lakers with 21 points and 14 rebounds. Lee was 7-of-14 from the field and was the only Laker that shot 50 percent or better with at least five shot attempts. GVSU shot 40 percent from the field for the game.
“He was tremendous from start to finish,” Wesley said about Lee. “He really played with energy. He was strong and aggressive and attacked the glass both ways. He really was a great leader for us. He was just tremendous; unfortunately, we didn’t have enough guys to match his energy and his physicalness in and around the basket.”
GVSU was out rebounded 35-33 on the boards. Northwood also managed to get 16 free throw attempts in the second half, compared to only five attempts from the charity stripe for the Lakers.
“We came out in the second half pretty flat,” Lee said. “They became more aggressive and were knocking down three’s. We didn’t get back in transition and our post defense wasn’t too good. We got outrebounded. That’s what it comes down to, stopping the ball in the low-post and getting rebounds and they out-rebounded us.”
On Thursday, GVSU protected their home court by dominating Lake Superior State University on their way to an 82-57 victory.
GVSU’s backcourt was too much for Lake Superior State (12-11, 9-10 GLAIC) as senior point guard Breland Hogan scored a game-high 23 points on 6-of-6 shooting from the field and 10-of-12 from the free throw line. Sophomore Ryan Sabin tied his career-high in points by recording 19 points. It was the first game back for Sabin, after he missed the previous three games with a concussion. Junior guard Rob Woodson chipped in with 16 points off the bench as well.
“I thought Breland was tremendous,” Wesley said. “That was one of his best games of his career. He just was rock solid in all aspects of the game. Rob just continued his fine play. He hit some shots — he’s really shooting the ball well and Ryan Sabin, just getting him back I thought it was obvious how much we missed him. I was really shocked that he was able to play as well as he did in his first game back.”
The win gave GVSU an 11-1 record in Allendale this season. For Hogan, it was about trying to make a bigger impact at his coach’s request.
“I had a good flow throughout the game,” Hogan said. “I didn’t try to force stuff. I just tried to stay on the attack. Coach actually told me I have to do more as a senior. I just tried to come out and keep my teammates involved and run the team and stay aggressive.”
With only three games left on the schedule for GVSU, the Lakers are tied for second place in the GLIAC with Ferris State University and Michigan Tech University at 13-6. They all trail Wayne State University, who leads the GLIAC North and is sitting at 14-4.
“We want to leave a mark this year,” Lee said. “We all playing with a sense of urgency and leave it all out on the floor. Everyone has to step up and become bigger factors in the game.”