GVSU women's basketball tops Indianapolis in physical home opener
This year’s Grand Valley State women’s basketball team is not afraid to get physical.
That was more evident than ever as the Lakers won their matchup 77-57 against the University of Indianapolis in the team’s home opener Friday, Nov. 17. With the win, GVSU improved to 3-0 on the year, while UIndy had yet to pick up its first win of the season.
GVSU's physical play and ball movement was eventually what got the Lakers the win, along with the dominant play from GVSU’s posts. Sophomore Cassidy Boensch came off the bench for the Lakers to lead the team in scoring, posting a career-high 15 points along with three assists and two steals.
“I have to credit my teammates for our good ball movement all night,” Boensch said. “My teammates made my job a whole lot easier all night.”
Along with Boensch, three other Lakers posted double-digit points: Junior Taylor Parmley scored 12 points; sophomore Jenn Deboer had 14 points; and junior Natalie Koenig scored 13 points, along with three crucial 3-pointers to seal the win.
Senior Korynn Hinkca was 1 point shy of a double-double on the night, as she posted 9 points and led the team with 14 rebounds, 10 of those being defensive. She attributed the win to GVSU’s hustle on the boards and the improved team chemistry.
“One of the keys to our win tonight was definitely rebounding, as they got almost no second looks (on offense),” Hinkca said. “We also moved the ball well and played more as a team tonight.”
For UIndy, senior Martha Burse had a dominant night, scoring 23 points and making seven rebounds for the Greyhounds. Senior Ashley Montanez had 8 points, but the starting center struggled with foul trouble all night, allowing the GVSU posts to take advantage in the paint with her absence.
The Lakers did a much better job of taking care of the ball on the offensive end. GVSU only had nine turnovers, which is a significant improvement from their previous games against Maryville University (15 turnovers) and the University of Missouri-St. Louis (19 turnovers).
“We did a much better job of being safe with the ball,” said head coach Mike Williams. “We did a great job of taking care of the ball, and we didn’t have a lot of turnovers.”
Williams went on to praise his bench for how well they played that night. The GVSU bench outscored the UIndy bench 24-9, thanks not only to the hard work of Boensch, but also the spark provided by Freshmen Anja Smith, who posted an impressive 6 points and five rebounds in only nine minutes of action.
After this dominant win, the Lakers were looking forward to their next home game Sunday, Nov. 19, against the Lewis University Flyers, but they recognize there are still certain skills they need to improve before they can get into GLIAC conference play. Specifically, they are looking to improve on the defensive side, as they did allow UIndy to shoot almost 45 percent in the second half.
“We’re going to need to focus on defense in our next game,” Boensch said. “It’s all about doing the little things right, and we’re not quite there yet.”
Williams was optimistic about the future of the basketball team. He said as long as they can play at that same level consistently, they are going to be just fine.
“We played big inside, and we need to continue that dominant play (in the post),” Williams said. “We need to continue to keep our eyes up, advance the ball and be ready for anything.”
With their win today against the Lewis Flyers at the Fieldhouse Arena, the Lakers remain undefeated. They are hoping to keep that streak up over Thanksgiving break, when they will travel to Louisville for a matchup with Southern Indiana on Saturday, Nov. 25, and Bellarmine University on Sunday, Nov. 26. Both games will be played at 1 p.m.