The Red Hawks took to the road this evening to face a competitive Grand Rapids Community College team and came home with the 89-81 win.
It was a back and forth ball game in the first half for the men, but it was the strong shooting performance by Gavin Rasler (SO/Niles, MI) that enabled the Red Hawks to gain a lead. Rasler obtained 14 points in the first half along with the men being able to out shoot the Raiders inside (50%) and outside (41%) of the paint. Even though Grand Rapids had an advantage by making it to the free throw line shooting 57%, Lake Michigan did not have those opportunities and still walked off the court ahead 41-39 after the end of the first half.
In the second half, the Raiders came out on a mission and continued to keep a competitive atmosphere as they attacked to glass offensively and defensively. The Red Hawks were able to make necessary defensive changes, along with the transition attacks made by Deion Gatson (SO/Cassopolis, MI), to maintain a lead. Grand Rapids answered back and cut the double digit advantage down to just four points away from Lake Michigan with just four minutes to left in the game. This was when Gatson had another opportunity to shine as he went 6 for 6 from the free throw line. He then was able to block a three point attempt and passed the ball to James Smith (SO/Chicago, IL), who sealed the deal with an emphatic dunk. The men walked off the court victorious with a 89-81 win.
There were five Red Hawks that were able to score in double digits, led by Gavin Rasler with 22 points. Gatson ended with 18, while Bryce Saxton (SO/Cassopolis, MI) put up 14 points, 9 rebounds, and 3 steals for the men. James Smith and Ajani Parker (FR/Aurora, IL ) both scored 12 points each as Malik Hall (SO/Benton Harbor, MI) led the men with 11 rebounds.
The Red Hawks will host Lansing Community College on Friday, January 19, 2018 at 7:30 pm. They are currently in third place in the Michigan Community College Athletic Association (MCCAA) Western Conference with a 3-1 record and a 7-8 overall record.