GVSU women's hoops goes 2-0 at home in weekend series
The Lakers are tied for second in the GLIAC North Division
Head coach Mike Williams and Assistant Head Coach Phil Sayers talk on the bench during the game vs. Northwood inside the Fieldhouse Arena in Allendale on Thursday, Feb. 9, 2017.
After a stretch of five games in 10 days, four of them on the road, the Grand Valley State women’s basketball team returned home for a two-game series against Northwood and Lake Superior State. GVSU finished the weekend with two wins, beating Northwood 73-52 and LSSU 78-50.
“It’s good to be in front of the home crowd,” said GVSU guard Janae Langs. “I think we needed that. We needed a little pick me up from the community and the student body cheering us on.”
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In the first game of the weekend, GVSU (18-6) grabbed the lead and held it the entire game. The offense started the first quarter on a 15-0 run with Bailey Cairnduff scoring five points in the first four minutes.
On her way to a double-double, Langs scored four points and snatched four rebounds in the first quarter.
“She locates the ball and tracks it down,” said GVSU coach Mike Williams. “She’s the one kid when the shot goes up, she knows where it’s going.”
The team’s leader in rebounds, despite being the shortest player on the team at 5’4”, finished the game with 20 points and 13 rebounds.
“Our post players remove the bodies and us guard players go in there and clean things up,” Langs said. “Tracking that ball off the rim, that’s the key.”
The Lakers continued to extend their lead in the remaining three quarters, shooting more than 50 percent from the field. GVSU attempted only 10 3-pointers against the Timberwolves, the least amount of attempts this season.
“They wanted to take away our three, and I thought let’s attack the rim more,” Williams said. “When you can shoot 51 percent with only 10 turnovers, you have a chance of winning.”
Forward Taylor Parmley finished the game with 14 points while fellow forward Piper Tucker finished with 10 points.
In the second game of the weekend, GVSU jumped out to another early lead, but the lead was short lived as LSSU captured a 16-15 lead at the end of the first quarter.
“I thought we started not playing at our highest level, but after (LSSU) got our attention, I thought our kids responded,” Williams said.
The GVSU offense closed out the quarter on an 8-0 run while the defense shut down LSSU. Junior Korynn Hincka, who finished with 10 points in the game, gave GVSU a spark off the bench in the second quarter
“(Hincka) is an energy player,” Williams said. “She’s athletic and I think she’s starting to get comfortable.”
Hincka was assigned to stop LSSU’s leading scorer Mackenzie Edwards. Edwards reached eight points early in the second quarter, but only finished with 10 points after Hincka started to defend her.
“We’ve had that luxury of putting her and (Piper Tucker) on shooters because they are a little longer and they are both athletic,” Williams said.
After gaining a 14-point lead in the third quarter, GVSU pulled away in the fourth quarter, doubling its lead to 28 points by the end of the game.
“It was great to get to wins, and we’re just looking forward to more great competition,” Hincka said. “The tournament coming up, that’s exciting too.”
GVSU has only three games left in the regular season before the GLIAC tournament, hosting Michigan Tech Thursday, Feb. 16 at 6 p.m. and Northern Michigan Saturday, Feb. 18 at 1 p.m.
Earlier in the season, GVSU lost a heartbreaker in the Upper Peninsula to Michigan Tech on a buzzer beater. GVSU will look to enact revenge in order to move into sole possession of second place in the GLIAC North Division.
“After that loss, that was a bit of a stinger so we’re excited to have them at home,” Hincka said.