Earning redemption: Van Tubbergen leads GVSU men's basketball in 'revenge' victory over Davenport
According to Grand Valley State senior point guard Chris Dorsey, there was only one mentality that he—and the rest of the men’s basketball team—had coming into the Saturday, Feb. 10, matchup against Davenport University: revenge.
The reasoning was because of GVSU's previous contest against the Panthers on Dec. 2, 2017, where the Lakers struggled in all aspects to lose the contest 66-55 in one of their more disappointing showings of the season.
“(Davenport) completely embarrassed us out there,” Dorsey said prior to Saturday's contest. “We know we have to be looking for revenge and give them everything we got.”
Revenge is what the Lakers got as they topped Davenport (11-13 overall, 5-11 GLIAC) 79-68 at the GVSU Fieldhouse Arena to improve their overall record to 12-12 (7-9 GLIAC).
Against a much smaller Davenport team, the Lakers came out with a completely new starting lineup, comprised of freshman guard Steven Lloyd, Dorsey, junior forward Zach West, freshman forward Jake Van Tubbergen and junior center Justin Greason.
Leading the charge for GVSU was Van Tubbergen, who finished the contest with a career-high 20 points (6-12 FG, 8-10 FT), along with eight rebounds and two blocks.
In the beginning of the first half, neither team could separate themselves in terms of scoring, as there were eight lead changes just in the opening half. By the end of the first half, the Lakers found themselves up 37-35. Van Tubbergen dominated the half with 14 points, finding success inside and on the free-throw line. West and Dorsey finished the half with 6 points each, while junior forward Chris Pearl scored 5.
However, the second half was a much different story, as the Laker defense turned into easy transition offense. Leading the charge was Zach West, who scored 9 second-half points.
With 4:26 remaining in regulation, Pearl hit two straight free throws to give GVSU an 18-point lead, their largest of the contest. After that, the Lakers had a chance to play their bench players in key minutes to close out the game.
GVSU shot an impressive 57 percent from the field, compared to Davenport’s 39 percent. Although that percentage is high, the Lakers struggled to convert from beyond the 3-point line, only hitting two of their eight attempts. From a team that usually relies on its strong 3-point shooters, the Lakers only hit four of their 20 3-point attempts during both weekend games.
West finished the night with a double-double, scoring 15 points and grabbing 10 total rebounds. Dorsey finished the night with 10 points, while teammate Pearl ended up with 10.
“I’m just happy for us to get a win,” Wesley said. “We’ve been playing solid basketball as of late but just haven’t been able to finish strong lately. This is a first of many steps in the right direction.”
With only four regular-season games remaining, the Lakers will need to play their best basketball against GLIAC opponents before the GLIAC Tournament. They will face Ashland on Thursday, Feb. 15, and Tiffin on Saturday, Feb. 17, in their last two home games of the season.