The No. 9-ranked Grand Valley State women's basketball team earned a tough GLIAC road victory over the Michigan Tech Huskies on Thursday night to improve to 16-1 overall and 9-0 in conference play.
In a defensive battle, the Lakers managed to pull out an 18-point victory over Tech, 53-35, behind junior guard Jenn DeBoer's 27 points and junior center Cassidy Boensch's career-high 21 rebounds.
The Lakers head to Marquette to take on a tough Northern Michigan team (12-4, 7-1 GLIAC) on Saturday afternoon. Michigan Tech falls to 10-7 overall and 6-3 in the conference.
In the defensive struggle, DeBoer was the Lakers' shining light on offense, as she went 11-of-19 from the field (3-of-7 on 3-pointers) and 2-of-2 from the charity stripe on her way to a game-high 27 points. She also pulled down six rebounds and added a steal.
While Boensch shot an uncharacteristic 3-of-12 from the field on the night, she pulled down a game, season, and career-high 21 rebounds to go along with her 12 points and four blocks to get the job done elsewhere on the court. She was also 6-of-6 from the free throw line. Junior forward Maddie Dailey also added 11 points to go along with eight rebounds and two steals.
As a team, the Lakers were an impressive 16-of-17 from the free throw line compared to MTU's 3-of-4. GVSU also dominated the paint as evidenced by their 46-23 rebounding margin. Both teams scored 16 points in the paint as well.
GVSU found itself down early in the first as the Huskies used three quick three's and a jumpshot to take an 11-4 lead with just over five and a half minutes to go on their home court. A jumper and layup from DeBoer would be followed by a pair of Boensch free throws to cut the Husky lead to just one, 11-10 where the teams would remain for the next two minutes of a low-scoring first quarter.
The Lakers turned out to make the perfect adjustments at the quarter break, as they would hold the Husky offense scoreless for nearly 12 straight minutes in the late parts of the first quarter and early parts of the second. While the Laker defense held taut, the offense was able to knock down a couple of buckets, as they quickly found themselves up 14 with 4:16 to go in the half, 25-11.
The teams would trade buckets back and forth over the next four minutes until a Elizabeth Kelliher layup and a pair of Cassidy Trotter free throws would end the first half scoring to cut the Laker lead to nine, 29-20.
Boensch would put the Lakers back up by double digits in the first minute and half of the third quarter with a layup but MTU quickly answered with a few buckets of their own to but the lead to eight. Neither team could get anything going offensively, as just 15 total points would be scored between the two teams but four points in the last 1:17 of the quarter would give GVSU the 12-point margin, 38-26, over the Huskies heading into the final stanza.
DeBoer would open the fourth with another three to put GVSU up 15, 41-26, but that would quickly dwindle down to 10, 43-33 with 6:37 on the clock after a short MTU run. After the lead was cut to eight after a Husky layup, GVSU never looked back as they quickly pushed the lead back to double digits before driving it home with a 10-0 run to take the game by 18 points, 53-35.
Again, GVSU will be back in action this Saturday, when they travel to Northern Michigan for a 1 p.m. tipoff.
— By Kyle Chestnut | GVSU Student Assistant
GVSU men fall to Michigan Tech in overtime
HOUGHTON — The Grand Valley State men’s basketball team built a double-digit lead, but couldn't hold on in a road loss, 91-87, to Michigan Tech in overtime Thursday night in Great Lakes Intercollegiate Athletic Conference (GLIAC) action at SDC Gym.
GVSU falls to 11-6 on the year and 5-4 in GLIAC play while the Huskies improve to 9-7 overall and 4-5 in the conference.
Hunter Hale led the Lakers with 21 points in the loss, his fifth game with 20+ points this season. Hale made four three-pointers while Jake Van Tubbergen went 10-10 from the free throw line to earn 19 points on the day, scoring in double figures for the seventh time in his last eight games. GVSU shot .492 (31-63) from the field, 7-14 from three and made 18 of 20 free throw attempts. Michigan Tech shot .408 (29-71) from the floor, went 7-30 from three but 26-28 from the line. The Huskies out-rebounded the Lakers 41-36, including 18 offensive rebounds by Michigan Tech.
After a back-and-forth start, the Huskies jumped out to a 7-6 lead early in the first half. Hale split the lane and lofted a lob for a one-handed alley-oop jam by Isaiah Brock to see-saw the Lakers into the lead. GVSU would not relinquish the lead for the remainder of the half, pushing the advantage as high as 14 and taking a 40-28 lead into halftime.
Free throws and turnovers hurt the Lakers down the stretch. GVSU led by nine with six minutes to go, but Michigan Tech continued to claw back, eventually tying the game at 73-73. They would take the lead on the next possession, but Van Tubbergen drew a foul after and hit both free throws to retie the game. With 35 seconds left in regulation, the Huskies shot would be denied, but the rebound caromed out of bounds off of the Lakers and Tech had a baseline inbound with 1.5 seconds left and a chance to win it at the buzzer.
While the Huskies wouldn't convert, it was foreshadowing of things to come. Michigan Tech got four offensive rebounds on one possession in the overtime period, eventually leading to free throws that would give them the lead for good. GVSU kept pace until the final seconds, when a turnover with 12.8 ticks left allowed the Huskies to hit a pair of free throws to make it a two-possession game.
The Lakers look to bounce back Saturday, as they head to Marquette, Michigan for a showdown with Northern Michigan and two of the GLIAC's leading scorers in Isaiah Johnson and Naba Echols.
The game can be heard live on ESPN 96.1 FM in Grand Rapids and everywhere on the iHeart app. GVSULakers.com will provide links to live stats and video while @GVSUBasketball provides live updates on Twitter.
— By Jake Levy | GVSU Athletics
Hope men’s basketball team wins at Alma
Three hundred forty-nine days ago, Danny Beckman suffered a season-ending knee injury during a Hope College men's basketball game at DeVos Fieldhouse. An arduous rehabilitation followed — testing and frustrating him, too.
Breakthrough nights like Wednesday's 87-74 Flying Dutchmen victory at Alma College made every challenging moment of the recovery worth it.
The sophomore guard from Shelby, Michigan (Shelby HS) come off the bench to bury a collegiate-high 18 points on a career-best six 3-pointers. He helped propel Hope back within one game of first place in the Michigan Intercollegiate Athletic Association standings.
Beckman, pictured, shot 85.7 percent from the field and 3-point range (6-of-7) in 17 minutes of action. He also contributed two steals and one assist to just one turnover.
"I'm super proud of Danny Beckman," head coach Greg Mitchell said. "To go 6-of-7 from the arc is uncanny. The immediate trust our guys showed in him, making the extra passes to find him, is pretty awesome."
Beckman doubled his point total for the season at an opportune time for the Flying Dutchmen, who improved to 10-6 overall and 3-2 in MIAA play. With Trine's win at Albion Wednesday, Hope trails co-leaders Albion, Olivet and Trine by one game.
The Flying Dutchmen's next three games are against Olivet, Albion, and Trine. Tipoff is 7 p.m. Saturday, January 19 at Olivet.
In the first half, Beckman sank all three of his 3-point attempts for nine points as the Flying Dutchmen raced to a 47-32 lead at the break.
Junior guard Riley Lewis of Williamston, Michigan (Williamston HS) scored 13 of his game-high 25 points during the first half. Guard Steven Harvey topped Alma (3-14, 3-2 MIAA) with 25 points.
Lewis, the nation's leading free-throw shooter, went 2-for-3 from the line to end a streak of 51 consecutive free throws that dated back to November 17. The national record for a single-season is 66. Lewis is still shooting 96.8 percent from the line (60-62).
Mitchell praised Beckman's determination throughout his remarkable recovery from an ACL tear.
"Nobody understands how hard he worked in the offseason. He took it on, not only he wanted to be back, but to be better than he was before," Mitchell said. "That was hard for him. I met with him a couple of weeks ago. He was a little frustrated. The best part was how he showed up the next day to be the hardest worker on our team. He deserves everything he's getting."
Beckman and Lewis contributed to the Flying Dutchmen's surge to a season-high 15 3-pointers on 46.9 percent shooting (15-32).
Lewis made five 3-pointers for the second consecutive game. Sophomore guard Calvin Hackert of Ludington, Michigan (Ludington) chipped in two en route to 10 points off the bench.
Senior forward Teddy Ray of Fort Wayne, Indiana (Homestead HS) and senior guard Jason Beckman of Shelby, Michigan (Shelby) each had one 3-pointer. Ray finished with 10 points, while Jason Beckman totaled nine points.
In the paint, senior forward Dennis Towns of Flint, Michigan (Powers Catholic) recorded a double-double for Hope with 14 points and 13 rebounds.
"Dennis had a warrior mentality all the night," Mitchell said. "It was a tough start on the road against a really good team. He showed us the way."
— By Alan Babbitt | Hope College Athletics
Hope women starts fast, downs St. Mary’s
As the final seconds of the third quarter ticked away, Kasey DeSmit found herself at the top of the 3-point arc with a quick decision to make for the Hope College women's basketball team.
She chose wisely, leading to an easy basket for a teammate and illustrating the growth of a young and promising group of Flying Dutch during a 93-44 victory against fourth-place Saint Mary's College.
DeSmit, pictured left, resisted hoisting a difficult shot from 22 feet against a double team. The freshman from Hudsonville, Michigan (Hudsonville HS) whipped a pass to Natalee Kott, pictured right, underneath the basket for a wide-open short jumper before the quarter ended.
"That play was a real extension of her growth of not trying to make something happen that wasn't there," head coach Brian Morehouse said of DeSmit. "Relax. Survey. Find the open player. She knew somebody was open because two were guarding one.
"Kott's played in a lot of big games, too. The game does not get too big for these two. They have been improving as the year's gone on."
A team that started the season with just one senior is now 15-2 on the season and 7-1 after the first half of Michigan Intercollegiate Athletic Association play. The Flying Dutch — ranked seventh in this week's Women's Basketball Coaches Association poll and ninth by D3hoops.com — are in sole possession of second place in the MIAA standings behind Trine.
Kott was one of three Hope players to score in double figures during a balanced attack against Saint Mary's (7-10, 4-4 MIAA). Seven Flying Dutch netted at least eight points.
The Flying Dutch shot a season-high 54.4 percent from the field (37-68).
Hope never trailed after jumping out to a 27-5 first-quarter lead. The Flying Dutch's 56-17 halftime lead marked their second-highest scoring half of the season.
"We've been talking about being energized in our runs from end to end, having our bigs run hard down the middle, and our wings sprinting instead of jogging," Morehouse said. "I thought it made all the difference in the world."
Senior forward Francesca Buchanan of Grant, Michigan (Sparta HS) recorded a team-high 12 points with perfect shooting from the field (4-4) and free-throw line (2-2). She doubled her career 3-point total with two during the first half.
Sophomore point guard Lauren Newman of Flushing, Michigan (Flushing) chipped in 11 points, seven of which came during the first quarter.
Kott, the freshman guard from Manistee, Michigan (Manistee), finished with a career-high 10 points.
The Flying Dutch also received nine points apiece from sophomore guard Kenedy Schoonveld of Zeeland, Michigan (Holland Christian) and sophomore forward Rose Thompson of Coopersville, Michigan (Unity Christian) and eight points apiece from DeSmit and sophomore forward Olivia Voskuil of Holland, Michigan (Holland Christian).
Hope blocked eight shots — its second-highest total of the season. Saint Mary's shot just 30.0 percent from the field (18-60).
"Defensively we're getting better as we're getting older," Morehouse said.
The Flying Dutch's next game is Wednesday, January 23 at third-place Albion. Tipoff is 7:30 p.m.
— By Alan Babbitt | Hope College Athletics
No. 17 Michigan State women knock off No. 9 Maryland
EAST LANSING (AP) — The first season Maryland joined the Big Ten, the Terrapins went unbeaten in conference play — both the regular season and the league tournament.
That was only four years ago, but it feels well in the past now.
Jenna Allen scored 16 points and Nia Clouden added 15 to lift No. 17 Michigan State to a 77-60 victory over No. 9 Maryland on Thursday night. It was only the 10th loss to a conference opponent for the Terrapins since 2014-15, but seven of those have occurred in the last 12 ½ months.
"The past four years or so, when they first came into the Big Ten, they haven't lost a lot," Allen said. "It's always a good win to get over them."
The Spartans (13-4, 3-3 Big Ten) led almost throughout, racing out to a 20-4 advantage in the first quarter. Maryland (15-2, 4-2) closed to within three at halftime, but Michigan State took control again in the third in this matchup between the highest-ranked Big Ten teams in this week's AP Top 25.
It was the second victory over a top-10 team for the Spartans this season. They beat No. 3 Oregon on Dec. 9.
Michigan State made five 3-pointers in the first quarter against Maryland. The Spartans made only one after that, but they kept playing with confidence. Taryn McCutcheon scored 12 points for Michigan State, which had lost three of its previous four games.
"I thought Michigan State was tremendous," Maryland coach Brenda Frese said. "They had a mentality coming off their last loss. They were hungry, they were motivated. The 3s really hurt us, I thought, just having to climb back through the course of the game."
The Spartans led 37-34 at halftime but pushed the lead back to double digits in the third and stayed in control after that.
Brianna Fraser led Maryland with 22 points.
The Terps lead the all-time series with Michigan State 11-2, but they've lost two of the last three meetings.
Maryland: The Terps did not have much scoring balance, with only two players in double figures. Although Maryland got back in the game by halftime, the Terrapins were on their heels early, and they never looked all that comfortable. Maryland had an 8-2 advantage in offensive rebounds in the first half, but Michigan State led that category 10-2 over the final 20 minutes.
Michigan State: The Spartans remain undefeated at home, and they still have to be considered a threat in this jumbled Big Ten race. Michigan State let most of its early lead get away quickly, but the Spartans responded impressively in the third quarter, never letting Maryland get on any type of run in the second half.
Maryland figures to drop, but Michigan State is not making it easy on voters with its enigmatic play of late. The Spartans lost at Ohio State on Monday, which likely limits how far they'll rise in the ranking.
There are six Big Ten teams in the Top 25, and four have lost already this week.
"I don't expect anything to change," Frese said. "The parity is so great. That's what we've always wanted, where any given night, anyone can beat anyone, home or on the road. It's great for the conference, when you see the influx of all the talent that's on each roster."
Tori Jankoska, Michigan State's career leader in scoring, is now on the Maryland staff as director of recruiting operations and player personnel.
"Having Tori sitting over there on the sideline made me want to beat them more, to be honest," Spartans coach Suzy Merchant said with a laugh.
Maryland: The Terrapins host Penn State on Sunday.
Michigan State: The Spartans play Sunday at Rutgers, which is the last remaining Big Ten team without a conference loss.
No. 22 Iowa women take charge in the second half to defeat Michigan
IOWA CITY, Iowa (AP) — Megan Gustafson had 21 points and 16 rebounds for her 16th double-double and added six assists to lead No. 22 Iowa to a 75-62 win over Michigan on Thursday night.
Eight players scored in the third quarter when the Hawkeyes made 10 of 16 shots, including two 3-pointers, to stretch a 32-29 lead to 54-38. The Wolverines went 4 of 12 and never got the deficit below double figures in the fourth quarter despite making 11 of 17 shots.
Hannah Stewart had 16 points for the Hawkeyes (13-4, 4-2 Big Ten Conference), who improved to 8-0 at home. Tania Davis and Kathleen Doyle both added 10. Davis also had six assists and Iowa had 25 helpers on 34 baskets.
Naz Hillmon had 16 points and Hallie Thome 15 for Michigan (11-7, 2-4). Despite the hot fourth quarter, the Wolverines shot 33 percent for the second half and 42 percent for the game. They went 1 of 15 from 3-point range.
The teams only had a combined 17 free throws and 16 turnovers.