GVSU women fall to Ashland in Midwest regional second round

Tribune Staff • Mar 11, 2018 at 7:08 AM

The Grand Valley State women's basketball team fell in a hard-fought battle to No. 1- ranked Ashland in the second round of the NCAA Midwest Regional Tournament on Saturday. With the loss, GVSU ends their season with a 26-7 record. Their 26 victories is the third highest mark in program history, trailing just the 2004-05 season that saw the team win 28 games and advance to the NCAA Elite Eight and the 2005-06 National Championship squad that racked up 33 wins.

The Lakers won the rebounding battle against the Eagles by a 29-17 margin while AU held the advantage in points in the paint, 50-34. The Lakers forced the Eagles to cough the ball up 13 times throughout the game, collecting nine steals, but Ashland forced 30 Laker miscues, which they converted into 38 points compared to GVSU's 21.

Sophomore Cassidy Boensch turned in another great performance, scoring a game-high 27 points while pulling down nine rebounds in 33 minutes of action. Guards Natalie Koenig and Jenn DeBoer posted solid offensive outings, tallying 12 and 10 points, respectively, while Koenig picked up five assists and DeBoer collected three steals. In her last game in a Laker uniform, senior Korynn Hincka filled out her stat sheet, collecting six assists, five points, four boards, two blocks, and a steal as she was all over the court during the game.

Ashland got things started in the contest, laying a bucket in a minute into the contest before Boensch would answer on the next trip down. DeBoer would give the Lakers a 5-2 lead with a deep 3-pointer as the shock clock was winding down after an Eagle miss. Hincka gave GVSU the lead back after Ashland hit a 3-pointer of their own on a layup from Dailey before a Belke layup at the 6:05 mark gave GVSU the 9-5 lead. Ashland quickly turned the tables, however, as their offense scored 10 straight points over the next two minutes to open up a 15-9 lead on the Lakers. Nearly two and a half minutes would tick off the clock before Koenig would hit another 3-pointer to cut the Ashland lead in half, 15-12. Koenig hit another jumper just a minute later to bring the Lakers within one, but a three from the Eagles would give them the four-point lead heading into the second quarter.

The Eagles carried their offense over from the first and scored a quick four points on the Lakers to open up an eight-point lead, 22-14, with 9:30 to go. A triple from Hedemark was followed by a Boensch layup to cut the Eagles lead to 22-19 with just under eight minutes to go. After a brief five-point Eagle lead, the Lakers erased the deficit on a Belke triple and another Boensch layup to tie the game 24-24. The teams went back and forth with the lead over the next five minutes before the Eagles scored six straight points in the last 37 seconds of the half to take a 36-31 lead into the locker rooms.

An and-1 from Boensch in the first minute of the third quarter cut the Eagles lead to just two, 36-34. Ashland and GVSU traded layups back and forth before a couple of free throws and a layup from AU pushed their lead back out to six, 42-36, with 6:50 on the clock. DeBoer and Boensch hit back to back buckets to bring the Lakers within two with 5:30 to play but the Eagles answered with a 3-pointer just seconds later. Just over two minutes would tick off the clock before either team would score again. With 2:40 to go in the quarter, Boensch ended the drought with a free throw but Ashland came right back with a layup that was quickly answered by a Koenig jumper. Over the next minute and a half, Ashland built up an eight-point lead, 53-45, before hitting a couple more shots to end the quarter with a 10-point lead, 58-48.

For the first minutes of the fourth quarter, the Eagles held onto a 12-point lead as the teams traded buckets back and forth. Another layup from Boensch and a 3-pointer from Hincka cut the Eagle lead to just seven, 68-59, with 4:48 left. The Eagles would go on a six-point run over the next few minutes to open up a 74-59 lead with 3:43 left in the game.

— By Grand Valley State Athletic Department 

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