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GVSU women's basketball team defeats Michigan Tech, advances to regional second round

Tribune Staff • Mar 10, 2018 at 12:33 AM

The Grand Valley State women's basketball team earned a big 21-point victory over the No. 24-ranked Michigan Tech Huskies, 75-54, in the first round of the NCAA Midwest Regional Tournament on Friday night in Ashland, Ohio. With the victory, GVSU avenges a pair of losses to the Huskies in the GLIAC regular season and also improve to 26-6 on the year. Michigan Tech ends their season with a 24-5 record.

GVSU now advances to the second round of the NCAA Midwest Regional Tournament where they are scheduled to face No. 1-ranked and reigning national champion Ashland today at 7:30 p.m. in Ashland, Ohio. The Lakers have dropped three contests to the Eagles this year, including a loss last weekend in the GLIAC Tournament Championship game.

The Lakers dominated the Huskies down low, outscoring them 48-10 in points in the paint while outrebounding them 41-32. The GVSU defense forced 15 turnovers which lead to a 23-11 advantage in points off of those miscues, while also collecting five steals and five blocks. GVSU also limited Michigan Tech to just eight free throws in the entire contest. While Michigan Tech did shoot 43.5 percent from beyond the arc, the Lakers limited them to just 35.2 percent overall to hold nearly 20 points below their season average in scoring.

GVSU got another huge game out of sophomore center Cassidy Boensch, as the 6-4 Laker tied her career-high with 32 points while also pulling down 10 rebounds and collecting four blocks and two steals. Fellow sophomore Jenn DeBoer put together a nice game as well, scoring 15 points while collecting four boards, a steal, and an assist. Junior Natalie Koenig tallied a game-high seven assists while senior Korynn Hincka pulled down a game-high 11 rebounds en route to the Lakers 21-point victory.

The Lakers were hot early, jumping out to a quick 6-0 lead over the Huskies in the first minute and a half of the contest. Koenig got a layup to go which was quickly followed by two Boensch layups as the center got going early. A Huskie jumper was quickly answered by a DeBoer jumper and the Lakers regained their six-point lead, 8-2. Michigan Tech didn't stay down for long however and quickly tied the contest 8-8 with back to back 3-pointers. The Huskies kept their run going with an and-1 layup to take their largest lead of the game, 11-8. Dailey answered with a 3-pointer herself to tie the game 11-all but another triple from Michigan Tech pushed their lead back to three. A Hedemark free throw at the 3:34 mark would be the last scoring for nearly a minute and a half before the Huskies would hit another 3-pointer. The Lakers would quickly answer with a three of their own, however, this time from DeBoer to cut the lead to 17-15, where it would stay for the remainder of the quarter.

Boensch got things rolling out of the quarter break, getting a layup to fall at the 9:25 mark to tie the contest 17-all. The teams would trade buckets back and forth before the Huskies managed a 22-20 lead with seven and a half to go. Hincka tied things up a few ticks later and a three from Koenig and a layup from Hedemark would sandwich a Huskie jumper for the 27-24 lead. The Lakers kept things rolling from that point, as Boensch hit layups on back to back trips down the floor, including an and-1, to open up a 32-24 lead with just under three minutes left in the half. A Hedemark layup a minute later would push the lead to 10 before the Huskies finally got on the board again with a 3-pointer at the 2:07 mark. Each team would manage just a few more points in the last two minutes of the contest and GVSU took a 40-30 lead heading into halftime behind a 25-13 scoring advantage in the second.

GVSU quickly started to build on their lead in the opening minutes of the third quarter. A DeBoer layup got things started and was quickly followed by a Boensch jumper to take a 14-point lead, 44-30. MTU got a jumper of their own to fall to cut the lead to 12 but the Lakers would answer with a 7-0 run to take their largest lead of the contest at 19, 51-32. Boensch hit back to back layups before a Deboer 3-pointer would close out the run. Over the next couple of possessions, the Huskies cut the GVSU lead to 13, 51-38, at the 4:27 mark. Nearly two minutes would tick off the clock before either team would score again. Boensch ended the drought with a couple of layups thirty seconds apart to push the lead to 17. The Huskies would cut the lead to 12 by the time the buzzer sounded to end the third as they took a 55-43 lead into the final quarter.

Once again, Boensch got things rolling for the Lakers to start a quarter, as she put in a jumper that was followed by a Koenig 3-ball to push GVSU's lead back out to 17. Things would quiet down as neither team scored over the next two minutes of play. The Huskies cut the silence with a layup before Hedemark answered with a layup of her own. DeBoer hit another 3-pointer a trip later for the 19-point lead, 65-46, with just over five minutes to go. GVSU' lead never dipped below 16 points over the next few minutes as the teams traded points back and forth and GVSU eventually built it up to 22 points, 73-51, with 1:27 to go. With the final bucket scored, GVSU walked away with the 21-point victory and advanced to the second round of the postseason tournament.

— By Grand Valley State Athletic Department 

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