GVSU women's basketball takes down Northern Michigan in double overtime
The Grand Valley State women’s basketball team defeated the Northern Michigan Wildcats 66-59 after the contest went into two overtime periods on Saturday, Dec. 9. With the win, the Lakers improved to 8-2 (3-1 GLIAC), while the Wildcats fell to 6-5 (2-2 GLIAC). It was the first time the Lakers had played at the Fieldhouse Arena since Sunday, Nov. 19, remaining undefeated in Allendale this season.
Things started slow for GVSU as the Wildcats jumped out to a 15-10 lead after the first quarter, but the Lakers were able to hold their opponents to a mere 7 second-quarter points as they put up 12 before halftime to have things tied at 22 headed into the break.
The second half could not have been more balanced. Both teams scored exactly 12 points in the third and fourth quarters, sending the matchup into its first overtime tied at 46. However, they did not get there without a little bit of drama.
Trailing 46-43 with just 24 seconds on the clock in the fourth quarter, the Lakers came out of their timeout with a drawn-up play to get a shot from the right wing. Senior center Korynn Hincka got a shot off but could not convert, although sophomore guard Jenn DeBoer was in position for the rebound on the weak side. She corralled the miss and passed the ball out to the top of the key where junior guard Natalie Koenig knocked down a triple to tie the game.
“I knew that we were going to get a shot on the right side, so I just kind of filled in hoping to get a rebound or just kind of be there if anyone needed a kick-out," DeBoer said. "So when she shot it, I just thought, 'Oh, this is perfect.' I passed it out to Natalie (Koenig), and she hit the three."
Both teams put up 9 points in the first overtime, with NMU’s ninth coming on a jumper with two seconds left to tie the game. The Lakers were unable to get a last shot attempt, and the second overtime was summoned.
Luckily for the Lakers, stifling defense led to easy offense in the last five minutes of the game, and they were able to pull away easily with an 11-4 advantage in the second overtime and claim the win.
In a game that featured 12 ties and nine lead changes, both teams had their vices: GVSU shot 6 for 22 from 3-point range, while NMU committed 21 turnovers.
“Northern is a tough defensive team," DeBoer said. "They’re tall, they’re long, so it’s hard to score over them at times, but I also think we weren’t making the shots that we normally make. We were missing some layups, some threes. I think early in the game we missed a couple of threes that we probably should have hit, so it was probably just a combination of things.”
Senior forward Taylor Parmley led GVSU with 23 points and also grabbed five rebounds. DeBoer was close behind, scoring a career-high 18 with five rebounds and four assists.
With this having been the second straight overtime game in three days, one would assume the Lakers would have slowed playing on heavy legs toward the end of the game. According to head coach Mike Williams, that was hardly the case.
“I thought they did a good job," Williams said. "I don’t think they gave in. We stayed tough. Our mantra was to not give in, and I don’t think we did once. The kids are fine. I thought they fought through it. They showed some resilience; they showed some toughness. I don’t think they were bothered at all.
"It’s a testimony to these kids. They were ready to play.”
Three players — DeBoer, Koenig and Hincka—played over 40 minutes for the second straight game.
Luckily for the Lakers, they have a week until their next game as they prepare for final exams, giving them plenty of time to rest and rejuvenate.
“It’ll be good for them," Williams said. "They’ve got finals. We’ll take a couple of days off of practice, let their bodies heal, let their minds heal. Sometimes the mind is most important. Then, we’ll pick up the pieces again on Tuesday.”
GVSU will be back at it on Saturday, Dec. 16, when they travel to Hammond, Indiana, to take on the Purdue Northwest Pride (1-7, 1-3 GLIAC) at 1 p.m.