Nov. 24, 2012
Allendale, Mich. - Grand Valley State battled back to force overtime against Cedarville on Saturday afternoon (Nov. 24) and the Lakers played an excellent overtime period, closing out the Yellow Jackets by a 69-66 final score. GVSU made 20-of-26 free throws in the game, including a perfect 4-for-4 in the final 14 seconds of the extra session.
The Lakers also exacted some revenge over Cedarville, the Division I National Christian College Athletic Association National Champions last year. On Jan. 31 of last season, the Yellow Jackets knocked off GVSU in Cedarville by a 71-58 score. With Saturday's win, Grand Valley State is 3-1. In its first season of Division II eligibility, CU is 2-4.
Cedarville led 47-38 with over six minutes to play in the game, its biggest lead of the contest. A 10-0 Grand Valley State run over the next two minutes brought the Lakers back into the game and gave GVSU a 48-47 lead. The score would be tied five times throughout the rest of the second half, with the teams heading to overtime, tied at 55-55.
In the extra frame, Grand Valley State never trailed, scoring first on an old-fashioned three-point play from senior Breland Hogan and getting a three-point from sophomore Ryan Sabin to open a 61-57 lead. Four straight points from Cedarville tied the game for the 13th and final time before consecutive jumpers from junior Rob Woodson and Hogan put the Lakers ahead, 65-61.
With 14 seconds remaining, Hogan buried two free throws to give the Lakers a four-point lead. After collecting a defensive rebound with seven seconds left, Sabin was fouled and he stepped to the line to knock down both freebies, extending the lead to 69-63. A late Cedarville three-pointer was made before the buzzer, but the Lakers had earned the hard-fought victory.
Sabin was tremendous, notching a career-high and game-high 19 points, while adding four rebounds, two steals, and an assist in 40 minutes. He was 5-of-7 from three-point range, made all four free throws, and did not commit a turnover. All 10 of Hogan's points came in the second half and in overtime, while sophomore Kristers Zeidaks added 10 points, five boards, and three blocked shots.
The first half was a defensive battle, as the teams went into the intermission with Cedarville holding a 19-16 advantage. In the opening 20 minutes, GVSU shot 21.1 percent (4-of-19) from the field, while Cedarville was 7-of-25 for 28.0 percent. The teams were a combined 4-of-17 from three-point range in the first stanza.
Things picked up in the second half, with an early three-point from Sabin and a jumper from sophomore Ryan Majerle tying the score at 21-21. Cedarville looked to take control midway through the half thanks to its strong outside shooting.
Last season, the Yellow Jackets made 8-of-11 trifectas in the second half en route to the win over GVSU. On Saturday, after a dunk by Zimmy Nwogbo and a triple from Marcus Reineke, the lead was 42-33 with 9:02 to play. The Yellow Jackets kept that same nine-point cushion at 47-38 before Grand Valley State made its run.
Sabin's three-pointer started the 10-0 surge, followed by a tough layup from Majerle. Zeidaks showed his outside range by hitting a three-pointer from the top of the key and Woodson intercepted a Jason Cuffee pass and went end-to-end for a layup that put GVSU ahead, 48-47.
Trailing 51-50, the Lakers re-claimed the lead with a three-point play from Hogan, as he made a layup and was fouled. At that point, GVSU was on top 53-51 with 2:41 to play. Cedarville tied the score before Zeidaks converted a layup with 2:00 left, giving the Lakers a 55-53 advantage.
On Cedarville's final possession of regulation, Nwogbo scored on a dunk, tying the score at 55-55 with 26 seconds remaining. The Lakers could not get a shot off at the end of regulation, which set up the overtime period. GVSU's last overtime game (and victory) was a 70-68 triumph over Michigan Tech on Dec. 19, 2011 in Allendale.
Both teams shot much better after the tough first half. The Lakers made 13-of-20 shots in the second half for 65.0 percent, including a perfect 5-for-5 from three-point range. For the game, GVSU shot 45.7 percent from the field and made 7-of-13 three-pointers.
After shooting just 4-of-15 from the charity stripe on Monday against Kuyper, Grand Valley State was 20-of-26 on Saturday, including 5-for-5 from the line in overtime. Cedarville shot 45.3 percent from the floor, while making 9-of-21 three-point attempts. GVSU did force 17 Yellow Jacket turnovers and owned a 21-12 edge in points off turnovers.
Senior Tyrone Lee had nine points and six boards in 17 minutes, while Majerle was 3-for-4 from the field and scored seven points to go with four boards. After totaling a career-high 15 points (on 7-for-7 shooting) against Kuyper on Monday, Woodson provided six points, a game-high four steals, and two assists in 27 minutes off the bench. Woodson has made his last 10 field goal attempts over the past two games.
It was the final non-conference game for GVSU in 2012-13. The Lakers begin GLIAC play next Thursday in Ashland, Ohio, as they take on Ashland at 5:30 p.m. In the only meeting last season, Grand Valley State defeated the Eagles by a 64-51 final.