Offense fuels GVSU women
GVL / Robert Mathews
Junior Dani Crandall
It didn’t take long for the Grand Valley State University women’s basketball team to get going against rival Ferris State University.
GVSU (14-5, 10-5 GLIAC) made 9 of 15 attempts from three-point range in the first half, giving them 48 first half points. The Lakers would eventually outlast Ferris State down the stretch to secure a 83-73 victory.
“The flow of our offense was tremendous,” said head coach Janel Burgess. “Obviously it was high scoring, I don’t think we could have asked our defense to be much better in some aspects.”
Led by senior Breanna Kellogg’s shooting, Grand Valley State University jumped out to a 26-13 lead.
“We started off really strong,” Kellogg said. “Credit our energy and defense to that early lead.”
Ferris State would weather the storm, and go on a run of their own to cut it to a six point deficit, 31-25 with five minutes remaining in the half.
“Both teams had their runs, and our defense was also great at times,” Burgess said. “We contained penetration and really communicated.”
GVSU set a season high with 12 three-pointers in the game. The Lakers previous game high for threes this season was ten.
“All the extra shooting we got in before and after practice this week really showed tonight,” said sophomore Kat LaPrairie.” “We showed great confidence as well.”
The fast pace would continue from both teams to close out the first half with the Lakers leading 48-43.
“We managed the runs (Ferris State) went on,” Burgess said. “Our offense did a great good with the tempo and continued to make shots.”
GVSU showed tremendous defensive effort out of the break as they extended their lead to 53-43, holding Ferris State without a field goal until the 15:30 mark of the second half.
“That’s what we talked about at halftime,” LaPrairie said. “The defense creates our offense, and if we focus on our defense then the rest will come.”
Down the stretch with five minutes remaining in the game, Ferris State broke out another run to cut the lead to ten points.
“They’re a good shooting team,” LaPrairie said. “We knew they were going to knock them down. We just had to limit the number of open shots they got.”
LaPrairie was a large part of the Lakers success as she tallied in 19 points. Seniors Alex Stelfox (13 points) and Kellogg (11 points) and junior Dani Crandall (13 points) were also in double figures for the Lakers as well.
“We played really together,” Burgess said. “Our flow was great. 20 assists, 68 offensive possessions is awesome.”
GVSU now has sole possession of third place trailing Michigan Tech (13-6, 11-4 GLIAC), and Wayne State (13-5, 11-3 GLIAC).