GVSU women rebound against Lake Erie
After a tough three-point loss earlier in the week against Ashland University (4-1, 2-0 GLIAC), the Grand Valley State University women’s basketball team (3-2, 1-1 GLIAC) was in dire need of a confidence-boosting win as the GLIAC season went underway.
“This game was really important to us,” senior Dani Crandall said. “We were pretty disappointed with the outcome (of the Ashland game). We wanted to come back and prove that’s not Grand Valley basketball. That was our focus this week in practice.”
During Saturday’s match up with GLIAC foe Lake Erie College (5-3, 0-2 GLIAC), it was evident that the Lakers were on the verge of opening up the game at any moment, as the Lakers maintained a 10-point lead throughout much of the contest.
“I don’t know if it was just a matter of time before we really opened up the game. We really just stayed focus and buckled down, to be honest,” head coach Janel Burgess said. “We took care of the ball, contested shots and rebounded. Those are key points in the game.”
The run came at the 10:20 mark in the second half as the Lakers scored 11 points while holding Lake Erie to only two points during a four-minute stretch, which ultimately put the game out of reach with GVSU leading 60-39 with 6:25 remaining in the game.
“Our big focus this year is to stay composed and maintain possession of the ball,” Crandall said. “Our focus was there the entire game, and we were finally able to open it up in the second half.”
The Lakers relied heavily on their guard-orientated line up to push the tempo, as they were able to clean up play on the offensive side of the ball, committing only five turnovers in the second half. GVSU eventually went on to win the game 76-53.
“Our play on the defensive end — allowing only 53 points and allowing them to shoot only 30 percent from the field — was what really pushed us ahead today,” Burgess said.
Crandall got off to a quick start as she scored six of GVSU’s first ten points. She went on to lead the Lakers with 17 points on 8-of-9 shooting. She also added eight rebounds and four assists.
“It was important to the team to get off to the start that we did,” Crandall said. “I try to let the game come to me, so if it happens, it happens, and I think the team tends to feed off of that.”
Sophomores Bailey Cairnduff and Jill Steinmetz each added 11 points to help the Laker cause. Cairnduff was 4-of-9 from the field, making two of five attempts from three-pointe range.
“Since I’m new this year, I think its important for me to get a feel for the offense and to learn how we play with each other,” Cairnduff said. “I think our team is getting better at finding each other. The posts are getting better with kicking it out for the three, as well.”
The Lakers will now go on a week-long road trip to start winter break. The road trip starts Sunday when they travel to Ohio to face the University of Tiffin. GVSU will then go up against Ohio Dominican University and the University of Indianapolis to end the year.