Nov. 29, 2012
Ashland, Ohio - Despite trailing at halftime for the second straight game, Grand Valley State battled back to win its third straight contest and GLIAC opener with a 66-57 victory over Ashland on Thursday (Nov. 29). The Lakers outscored AU 43-28 in the second half to move to 4-1 on the season.
GVSU now moves to 2-0 in games it trails at the half, as the Lakers also defeated Cedarville last Saturday after being down 19-16 at intermission. On Thursday against the Eagles, Grand Valley State went 21-for-23 from the free throw line for a stellar 91.3 percentage. Remarkably, the Lakers did not attempt a free throw in the first half.
The win puts GVSU at 4-1 on the year and 1-0 in GLIAC play, while Ashland falls to 1-2 overall and 0-1 in the conference. 53 points from the five Laker starters, in addition to the terrific free throw shooting, were big keys to Grand Valley State's win. Another major reason for the victory was GVSU holding the Eagles' All-GLIAC First Team forward, Evan Yates, to just nine points and nine rebounds. Last season, Yates averaged more than 20 points and over 11 boards a game.
Sophomore transfer Kristers Zeidaks posted a game-high and career-high 15 points, while adding a team-best eight boards. Zeidaks was 5-of-9 from the field and made a pair of trifectas. His frontcourt mate, senior Tyrone Lee, posted a strong second half and finished with 11 points and five rebounds.
The Laker backcourt produced 27 points in what was a defensive battle. Point guard Breland Hogan and shooting guard Ryan Sabin each had 10 points apiece and transfer Ryan Majerle added seven points, including a huge three-point play late in the contest.
Zeidaks drained a three-pointer at the 10:30 mark of the first half, putting GVSU ahead 16-12. Ashland scored the next nine points to take a 21-16 advantage with 5:42 to play. Sabin's three-pointer made the score 25-23 with 47 seconds remaining before the Eagles scored four points in the final 10 seconds to take a 29-23 lead to halftime.
In the second half, Ashland moved out to a 35-27 lead, but the Lakers started to chip away thanks to consecutive buckets from Lee. A jumper from sophomore Ricardo Carbajal knotted the score up at 40-40 and GVSU began to slowly pull away.
A three-pointer from Hogan and two free throws by Darius Norman put the Lakers on top, 48-43. Carbajal again scored on a jumper a few minutes later to give Grand Valley State its biggest lead at 54-45 with 4:23 to play. The Eagles pulled within five points (62-57) at the 23-second mark, but Sabin and Hogan each drained two free throws to seal the win. On Saturday against Cedarville, Sabin and Hogan did the same thing, nailing four freebies in the final 14 seconds to clinch that victory.
For the game, GVSU (43.2) shot a tad better than Ashland (43.1), while each team made seven triple tries. While Grand Valley State made 21-of-23 free throws, Ashland was just 6-of-12, giving the Lakers a 15-point margin at the line. That was crucial in a nine-point win.
Grand Valley State will head to Lake Erie on Saturday (Dec. 1) to face the Storm at 1:00 p.m. The Lakers lead the all-time series 4-0, including a 64-57 victory last season in Allendale.