GVSU women's hoops downs NMU, MTU
Dawson, Cairnduff lead GVSU to big conference wins
GVL / Sara Carte Grand Valley Women’s Baketball player, Kayla Dawson, runs the ball down the court against Michigan Tech in the Fieldouse on Jan. 16.
Prior to Thursday, it had been over a decade since the Grand Valley State women's basketball team held an opponent to under 20 percent shooting in a game.
That page in the record books can now be dusted off, as GVSU (12-4, 7-3 GLIAC) held visiting Northern Michigan to an ice-cold 17.8 percent shooting in a 70-30 win. The Lakers then hosted Michigan Tech on Saturday in a battle of GLIAC powerhouses, and won that one 68-57.
“I thought we played with energy,” said GVSU head coach Mike Williams. “I thought we really engaged one another with communication, helping one another.”
The Wildcats jumped out to a 5-0 lead at the beginning of the game, but the positives went no further for NMU. The Lakers ended the quarter on a 15-3 run, and allowed just two more field goals for the rest of the first half, which was good for a 35-11 lead.
The Lakers turned on cruise control the rest of the way, holding the Wildcats to 8-of-45 shooting as a team, 3-of-15 from three and forcing 19 turnovers.
“We were pretty active with our hands in recovery, trying to get on the shooters, take away their inside game. When (Northern Michigan) got some looks they missed them, and that combination kind of snowballed things,” Williams said.
Forward Kayla Dawson was a Swiss Army Knife for the Lakers, totaling 18 points, seven boards, four steals and three assists.
“After our loss to Walsh (Jan. 7), we decided we have to have more energy during the game, and I think that energy made us have an intensity on the defensive side,” Dawson said. “It’s always fun when we have a good team win.”
After Thursday's impressive victory, the Lakers carried over their strong defense into the Saturday tilt against Michigan Tech. Although GVSU didn't hold the Huskies to 17.8 percent shooting, it still put up a solid performance and showed marked defensive improvement.
“I thought we were very disciplined, both on defense and offense,” Williams said. “(Michigan Tech) is a team that’s so patient, and they’re so good and so smart that, if you make a mistake on them, they make you pay for it every time. We showed a great deal of discipline down the stretch on both ends of the floor and made plays.”
The Lakers were efficient on the offensive end, shooting 50 percent as a team from the field and from 3-point range.
Trailing 44-37 at the end of the third quarter, the Lakers put the clamps on the Huskies in the final period. The Lakers held the Huskies to 6-of-19 shooting from the field, and outscored them 21-10.
“Coach always talks about having a major league sense of urgency,” said forward Bailey Cairnduff. “I think when it came down to it today, we definitely fulfilled that.”
Cairnduff had a solid night, leading all scorers with 18 points and adding seven boards and three steals. Dawson and center Korynn Hincka both scored 13 points.
This week, the Lakers will hit the road to face Lake Superior State on Thursday and come back home for a matchup with Northwood on Saturday.