Women’s basketball has a historic weekend – Grand Valley Lanthorn


The no. Grand Valley State University’s No. 3 women’s basketball team (23-1) picked up two more wins last week, extending their winning streak to 18. However, the wins made a whole lot more sense this this time as the Lakers won the regular-season GLIAC. championship.

“You want to win the conference, that’s your number one priority,” coach Mike Williams said. “So it was good to do that, especially in this conference. I think it’s a really good conference. We probably had a few breaks, played basketball maybe more regularly than anybody else, but we’re definitely not better than anyone, we’ve just been consistent and got a few breaks.

Along with the GLIAC Championship, Williams also hit another milestone, earning his 300th career win in his head coaching career between his time at GVSU and Davenport University.

“When you’re in good places, it’s a lot easier to win,” Williams said. “When you have great players like us, people who really buy into your program, it’s a lot easier to win.”

As if that weren’t enough, the first NCAA regional rankings were released and the Lakers came in first in the Midwest region, edging out Ashland University, which is currently one spot ahead of GVSU in the poll. the trainer at number two. This means that if the Lakers win, the Midwest region will most likely have to go through Allendale.

“I don’t think our kids are trapped, really not,” Williams said. “I think what it does is it puts a bit more pressure on them and we have to deal with that. As coaches we have to do something to curve that.

The first win of the week came on the road at Davenport University (2-23), which was played between first and last place in the GLIAC. However, the Panthers gave the Lakers everything they could handle.

In the second quarter, the Panthers took a 17-12 lead and held the Lakers scoreless for the first four minutes and 30 seconds. Laker second center Joslyn Brennan broke the cold snap with a layup to give GVSU its first field goal of the quarter.

From there, the Lakers began to turn things around and finished the half on a 13-3 run, which was capped off by senior guard Qay Stanton beating the buzzer with a layup.

“Obviously, I know the first half didn’t look good for a lot of us,” second-year guard Ellie Droste said. “We kind of discussed at half time like, ‘Okay, this is where we need to step up and stuff.’ So I think our whole team did their best to strengthen in the second half.

After a low-scoring third quarter, the Lakers are still struggling to pull away, holding a slim 32-28 lead. Droste gave the Lakers a major boost to start the final quarter, scoring the team’s first eight of nine points and leading GVSU to a 54-44 victory.

Droste led the way with a game-high 15 points, adding five rebounds and two assists. Brennan added a spark off the bench, with nine points, two rebounds and a steal.

To end the week, the Lakers had their annual Senior Day game, which takes place in the last home game of the regular season, against Northwood University (15-9), earning a 70-61 victory over the Timberwolves .

It was another hard-fought victory for the Lakers, as the Timberwolves tied the game with 4:28 remaining in the game.

On the ensuing possession, Lead guard Emily Spitzley worked her way inside the lane and completed a contested layup to help the Lakers regain the lead.

“In this game we tried to attack the lay-ups and our holds with a little more confidence,” Spitzley said. “At Davenport we were a bit more hesitant after missing a few lay-ups. So at dawn today, the coach just told us about going free and letting go of anything that might weigh you down.

GVSU then held Northwood to three in the final four minutes.

“We talked about doing three things basically; don’t give them a layup, get into their three-man space quickly, don’t try to block or foul them,” Williams said. “Then we just talked about making contact and blocking so we don’t give up a second shot.”

Spitzley finished the contest with 17 points and three assists, while Droste filled the stat sheet with 12 points, four assists, three rebounds, two steals and one block.

Looking ahead, the Lakers have two road games to close out the regular season, heading to Wayne State University before facing Saginaw Valley State University, which handed the team its only loss of the season. The Lakers will then return home to host the GLIAC tournament.


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