'Fun to watch': GVSU women advance to conference semifinal
Editor's note: this story was published on Tuesday, March 5 before GVSU's matchup with Northern Michigan. It recaps the game that sent them into the conference semi-final.
In the quarterfinal round of the GLIAC women’s basketball tournament, the No. 1 seeded Grand Valley State Lakers defeated the No. 8 Wayne State Warriors 73-50 on Tuesday, March 5 at Fieldhouse Arena.
After starting the game down 9-3 early, the Lakers rallied and made a 41-10 run to close out the first half with a large lead that would not leave the scoreboard in the second half.
“It was just fun to watch. It was really fun to watch that first half,” said head coach Mike Williams. “We were all over the place. Some players I thought – two players that came in and played really well were Jenai LaPorte and Taya Andrews. Jenai gave us a huge spark and so did Taya. It doesn’t always show up in the box score, but wow. Rebounds, Jenai made some plays, hit a three, had some offensive rebounds, found some players with some passes so I just thought we had players come in that played really well.”
LaPorte and Andrews were relied on heavily early due to foul trouble for some starters in a game that saw each teams shoot 22 free throws apiece as the Warriors were called for 20 fouls and the Lakers were called for 16.
Whistles did not stop forward Maddie Dailey, though, as the junior scored a career high 28 points on 11-14 shooting with 11 rebounds and two blocks.
“I feel like we were finding the seams and back-cutting a lot,” Dailey said. “A lot of my points were easy buckets with Natalie and Jenn and V able to find those openings really attributed to that.”
Center Cassidy Boensch scored 13 points and grabbed six rebounds while guards Jenn DeBoer and Victoria Hedemark each scored 11.
With the victory, the Lakers will now turn their attention to the fourth-seeded Northern Michigan Wildcats. In two matchups this season, the teams have split the series with each squad picking up a win on their home court. GVSU will “prepare by resting” by taking Wednesday off and going light Thursday and Friday ahead of an always-physical game against NMU.
The semifinal game is scheduled to tip-off at 2 p.m. on Saturday, March 9 at Fieldhouse Arena.