Courtsey / Zak Spryszak

Final exams to Final Four

The Final Four is no joke.  In 2019, Virginia, Texas Tech, Michigan State and Auburn were all well-represented in Minneapolis, Minn. to participate in the ultimate college basketball weekend of each year – but Grand Valley State was represented, too. 

Courtesy / GVSU

GVSU wins GLIAC, punches ticket to NCAA tournament

Going into the GLIAC tournament, no one in their right mind would have predicted that No. 7 Grand Valley State, a team who was 12-11 after losing to No. 3 Wisconsin-Parkside in overtime exactly one month ago, would comeback to beat the Rangers in a buzzer-beating win in the GLIAC semifinals to earn an automatic bid into the NCAA tournament for the first time since 2009, and then go on to win the GLIAC tournament.

GVSU womens basketball semi-finals. Cassidy Boensch goes up against Northern Michigan defenders. 

GVL / Ben Hunt

GVSU upset in conference semifinal

The top seeded hosts of the GLIAC women’s basketball tournament – the Grand Valley State Lakers – were upset by the No. 4 seed Northern Michigan Wildcats on Saturday, March 9 at Fieldhouse Arena 47-38. With the loss, the Lakers will not have an opportunity to play in the GLIAC tournament championship game despite winning the regular season title, their first in 13 years. Coming into the game, the Wildcats were one of two teams to defeat the Lakers in the 2018-19 season and had also held them to their three lowest point totals of the entire season – 50, 43 and now 38. 

GVL/Katherine Vasile, 2/21/2019, GVSU Fieldhouse Arena, Women's Basketball GVSU vs. Northern Michigan

Sawyers for a day, winners for a week

The weekend started slowly in Fieldhouse Arena, as the Lakers scored weekend-lows 12 and nine points in the first two quarters against NMU. Fortunately, their defense had the Panthers on lockdown, not allowing points until there were 32 seconds left in the first quarter on a pair of free throws and keeping their opponents without a made field goal until the 5:16 mark of the second.

GVL / Sheila Babbitt 

Cassidy Boensch, Lakers sweep season series with SVSU and Northwood

If Cassidy Boensch was not already on the radar for Division II Player of the Year for whatever reason, she surely is now. The junior center led the Lakers into Saginaw, Mich. on Thursday, Feb. 14 to take on their rival Saginaw Valley State Cardinals who they dispatched with ease behind the dominant play of Boensch, who turned in one of the most eye-popping stat lines in program history, scoring 38 points with 23 rebounds and four blocks in only 26 minutes on the floor.

Dan Pacheco/GVL

End of the road: Lakers' season ends with Sweet 16 loss to Drury

The No. 3 seeded Grand Valley State Lakers’ season has come to an end after falling to the undefeated No. 1 seed Drury Panthers 51-44 on Monday, March 18 in the NCAA Tournament Sweet 16.  “I haven’t seen everybody in the country, but (Drury’s) got to be pretty dang good,” said GVSU head coach Mike Williams. “They’ve got the total package. They’ve got size, they’ve got athletes who can shoot the basketball, they can get to the rim, they rebound and they guard you. They really, really guard you. They’re just relentless and I thought our kids, for the most part, responded to it.”

GVL / Katherine Vasile, 2/21/2019, 
GVSU Fieldhouse Arena, GVSU breaks a huddle vs. Northern Michigan.

Sweet dreams: GVSU basketball rolls into final 16

For the first time since 2016, the Grand Valley State women’s basketball team is on to the Sweet 16.  The No. 3 seeded Lakers beat up on the No. 2 seed Lewis 72-55 to punch their ticket to the regional semifinal.  “It’s unreal,” said GVSU forward Maddie Dailey. “We’re so excited to be one of 16 left playing. It’s a great feeling, especially because the last two years we’ve lost in the semifinal in our region so to finally make it to Monday night is really special for us.”