Lakers Cruise to 84-47 Season-Opening Victory
Sophomore Darius Norman posted career-highs in both points (14) and rebounds (eight) in his first collegiate start
Sophomore Darius Norman posted career-highs in both points (14) and rebounds (eight) in his first collegiate start

Nov. 12, 2012

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Allendale, Mich. - Grand Valley State appeared to be in midseason form in its 2012-13 season opener on Monday night (Nov. 12) in Allendale, posting an 84-47 victory over Michigan-Dearborn. It was the ninth straight season-opening and home-opening win for GVSU under the direction of head coach Ric Wesley.

The Lakers (1-0) shot very well offensively (61.2 percent from the field, 9-of-19 three-pointers) and did a great job on the defensive side. GVSU forced 21 Michigan-Dearborn turnovers, nabbed 14 steals, and blocked seven UMD shots in front of 1,012 fans in Fieldhouse Arena.

Five Grand Valley State players reached double-figures, including four of the five starters. GVSU's starting frontcourt saw Darius Norman tally career-highs in points (14) and rebounds (eight), while Tyrone Lee notched 10 points, nine boards, five assists, and four steals. Norman, making his first collegiate start, rejected two shots, while Lee added one block.

Michigan-Dearborn (2-2) actually got on the board first, but the Lakers raced out to a 14-4 lead after an alley-oop dunk that sophomore Kristers Zeidaks slammed home off of a perfect Rob Woodson lob pass. One of sophomore Ryan Sabin's three first-half three-pointers made the score 29-10 with 7:33 to play in the opening stanza. Sabin made all three of his triple tries in the opening 20 minutes.

A pair of free throws by Norman pushed the lead to 28 points (40-12) with 4:23 to play, but Michigan-Dearborn fought back and cut the score to 43-25 at the intermission. In the opening half, GVSU shot 57.1 percent from the field and made 5-of-11 trifectas. UMD did not help itself by committing 13 turnovers which turned into 17 Laker points.

Any thoughts of the Wolves pulling off the comeback victory were quickly squashed in the opening minutes of the second half, as Grand Valley State scored the first 22 points of the second stanza. Senior point guard Breland Hogan started the 22-0 run with a three-pointer just 14 seconds into the half, while Sabin, Zeidaks, and freshman Ernijs Ansons also drained triples during the early surge.

The Laker lead reached its biggest of the night at 41 points when Zeidaks' layup, on a nice assist by freshman Darren Kapustka, made the advantage 67-26 with 12:37 to play. GVSU would lead by at least 34 points the rest of the game.

Joining Norman and Lee in double-digits was Sabin, who knocked down 4-of-6 three-pointers for 12 points. He added four assists and did not commit a turnover in 20 minutes. Hogan provided 13 points (4-of-5 field goals, 4-of-5 free throws) in just 15 minutes on the court.

Zeidaks dropped in 11 points in 15 minutes off the bench, making 5-of-7 field goal attempts. Peters and sophomore guard Ryan Majerle each notched seven points apiece for GVSU, which tallied 25 assists on its 30 made field goals. Kapustka dished out five assists and notched two steals in his Laker debut.

In addition to 21 turnovers, Michigan-Dearborn struggled shooting the ball, making just 32.7 percent of its field goal tries. The Wolves were 8-of-15 at the line.

GVSU will be in action again on Saturday afternoon, when the Lakers play their toughest non-conference game of the season. At 3:15 p.m., Grand Valley State will tip off against #4 Bellarmine, a team that won the Division II National Championship in 2010-11. The Knights, a Final Four team last year, defeated GVSU in Allendale, 70-67, in the team's only meeting last season.



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