The men began conference play by hosting Kalamazoo Valley Community College this afternoon and ended in a 72-64 win.
It was a team effort this afternoon for the Red Hawks, although the Cougars won the tip-off, the men scored right out of the gate. Lake Michigan continued to gain ground in the first half and kept Kalamazoo Valley on their toes. It was a back and forth battle with the lead changing six times and a tied score three times but it was the Red Hawks who dominated. The men shot 43% in three point territory and 38% inside the paint compared to the Cougars 34% and 23% respectively. This allowed the men to walk off the court ahead 31-28 in the first half.
Lake Michigan continued to dominate in the second half and did not allow Kalamazoo Valley gain a lead. The Red Hawks were able to play together and produce plays that the Cougars could not contest. Lake Michigan was also able to shut down the Kalamazoo Valley offense which allowed them to outscore the Cougars and obtained the 72-64 win. The Red Hawks shot 43% inside the paint in the second half and 68% from the free throw line.
Gavin Rasler (SO/Niles, MI) led the men in points, with 32, along with 2 assists and 3 rebounds. James Smith (SO/Chicago, IL) ended with 14 points, 5 assists, and 3 rebounds while Malik Hall (SO/Benton Harbor, MI) led with 18 rebounds, 11 points, 2 blocks, and 2 assists. Deion Gatson (SO/Cassopolis, MI) and Bryce Saxton (SO/Cassopolis, MI) scored 9 and 8 points respectively, as Gatson also had 7 assists.
The men will play on Monday, January 8, 2018 at 7:30 pm at home against Kellogg Community College.