Jan. 10, 2013
ALLENDALE, Mich. – Behind 24 points from senior Briauna Taylor (Livonia, Mich.), the Grand Valley State women’s basketball team defeated Northern Michigan, 58-48, on Thursday evening at GVSU Fieldhouse Arena.
With the win, GVSU improves to 10-3 on the season and more importantly 6-3 in the GLIAC. Northern Michigan drops to 8-5 and 5-4 in league play. The Lakers now face the top team in the North Division as Michigan Tech (9-4, 7-2) comes to Allendale on Saturday at 3 p.m. Michigan Tech downed Ferris State, 60-46, on Thursday.
Taylor scored a season-high-tying 24 points, shooting 11-for-19 from the floor, while also recording four rebounds, two assists and a steal. It is the eighth time this season that the forward led the Lakers in scoring and her third 20-plus point game this year.
Classmate Alex Stelfox (Bowie, Md.) recorded her 1,000th career point on a free throw and finished with eight points, a team-high seven rebounds, three assists and two steals. Stelfox is the 22nd GVSU women’s basketball player to accomplish join the 1,000-point club.
Northern Michigan held an early lead twice, but the Lakers tied the game each time. At the 14:11 mark, GVSU led 11-6 on a jumper from Taylor and a three-pointer from sophomore Kat LaPrairie (Rockford, Mich.) and it would never relinquish the lead. Over the next four minutes, GVSU took its first double-digit lead, 20-10, on a three-pointer from freshman Jill Steinmetz (Avon, Ind.).
The Wildcats sparked a 13-7 run close the gap to 28-23 with 2:20 remaining in the half. A layup from Taylor gave GVSU a 30-23 lead, but NMU’s leading scorer, Anna Liewen, scored her fifth basket of the game to close in on the Lakers a little more for a 30-25 halftime score.
GVSU opened the second half on a 12-4 run to lead 42-29 at the 13:08 mark before a drought for both squads saw the teams come up empty for the next three minutes. Back-to-back baskets from Northern Michigan ended the stretch and closed the Lakers lead to nine, 42-33 with 9:18 on the clock.
Taylor pushed the lead back to double figures before Alyssa Colla closed the gap again. A traditional three-point play from junior Breanna Kellogg (DeWitt, Mich.) gave GVSU a 47-35 lead with 7:42 remaining in the game and the Lakers never looked back.
For the game, Grand Valley State shot 42.1 percent, including a 44.0 percentage (11-of-25) in the second half. GVSU held Northern to just nine field goals in the second stanza and 40.9 percent shooting for the game. The Lakers had 15 points off the Wildcats’ 16 turnovers, while limiting themselves to 11.
Liewen and Colla each had 12 points, while Colla filled the stat sheet with seven boards, four assists and three steals. Lauren Gruber rounded out the top scorers with 11 points.