Dec. 15, 2012
Hillsdale, Mich. - GVSU used another strong second half and a complete team effort to capture a 67-58 victory at Hillsdale on Saturday night (Dec. 15). Trailing 30-27 at halftime, Grand Valley State outscored the Chargers 40-28 in the final 20 minutes and improves to 4-0 this season when trailing at halftime.
Saturday night's game was the opening contest of one of the Lakers' toughest road trips of the season. With the win, GVSU stays undefeated in GLIAC play with a 5-0 record. Grand Valley State has now won seven straight games and is 8-1 overall this season. The Chargers fall to 6-2 on the year and 3-2 in conference play, as Hillsdale has lost its last two contests.
Before traveling to Findlay, Ohio for a marquee matchup with the #24 Oilers on Monday night (Dec. 17), the Lakers had quite a game on their hands with Hillsdale, which started the year with a perfect 6-0 record. GVSU used a terrific second half of shooting to overtake and close out the Chargers, as Grand Valley State was 14-of-24 from the field (58.3 percent) in the final 20 minutes. HC shot just 30.8 percent (8-of-26) in the second stanza.
Senior point guard Breland Hogan filled out the statsheet on Saturday night. Hogan notched a team-high 14 points, but also pulled down five boards, dished out a game-best five assists, while adding three steals, and a tremendous blocked shot. He was joined in double figures by Ryan Sabin (11 points, all in the second half) and Tyrone Lee (10 points, six rebounds, two steals).
GVSU scored six of the game's first eight points before Hillsdale re-gained an 8-7 advantage. From that point, the Chargers would lead the rest of the first half. HC had the score at 14-7 early on and pushed out to a 27-19 cushion at the 5:21 mark, the biggest lead for the home team all night.
Despite trailing for most of the first half and with Sabin and starting forward Kristers Zeidaks battling foul trouble, a late three-pointer from junior Rob Woodson cut the deficit to 30-27 at halftime. In the opening 20 minutes, Hillsdale (45.5 percent) outshot GVSU (41.7 percent), but the Lakers stayed close thanks to a 14-7 advantage in bench points.
Grand Valley State used Woodson's three-pointer as momentum early on in the second half. After trailing 30-24, the Lakers scored the game's next 11 points, as Lee made a pair of free throws just 17 seconds into the second half. Zeidaks and Hogan hit consecutive three-pointers in a 34-second span and GVSU was out to a 35-30 lead at the 17:58 mark.
Hillsdale trailed 41-34, but ran off a 10-0 spurt that put the home Chargers ahead and in control, 44-41. Tony Peters answered with a trifecta for the Lakers, tying the score. The score was still knotted up at 48-48 with 7:11 remaining when GVSU put together a huge 7-0 run that opened up control of the game.
Ricardo Carbajal converted a layup on a terrific pass from freshman Ernijs Ansons to break the tie, which was quickly followed by a layup from Hogan. Moments later, Sabin's three-point shot found the bottom of the net and the Lakers were on top, 55-48.
The Chargers cut the deficit to 55-51, but Lee scored on a layup down low. Zeidaks then stole a pass near half court, took off down the floor, and threw down a thunderous one-handed slam dunk to completely keep momentum on GVSU's side. Sabin's jumper inside the paint on the next possession put the lead at 61-51 with 2:10 to play, the largest advantage for either team. A few free throws later and Grand Valley State had recorded arguably its biggest win of the young season.
For the game, GVSU shot an even 50.0 percent from the field, making 24-of-48 attempts. The Lakers were 7-of-18 from three-point range and made 12-of-19 free throws. Hillsdale connected on 37.5 percent of its field goal tries and was just 6-of-20 from three-point range.
Grand Valley State committed a season-low seven turnovers and forced 15 miscues by the Chargers. Hillsdale did own a 39-23 rebounding advantage, but the Lakers scored all 10 of the game's fast break points and put together a 23-11 edge in bench points.
Ansons supplied seven points, three assists, and a steal in 19 productive minutes off the bench, while Woodson provided five points, an assist, and a steal in 11 minutes. Peters added five points and two boards, while Zeidaks gave the Lakers five points, two boards, two blocks, and a steal - all primarily in the second half after battling first-half foul trouble.
The Lakers will take their seven-game win streak and 8-1 record to #24 Findlay on Monday night (Dec. 17) for a 6:00 p.m. contest. The Oilers snuck by Ferris State 82-81 in overtime on Saturday afternoon. Findlay is 6-2 overall and 4-1 in GLIAC play and has not lost a GLIAC home game since 2004.