The Lady Red Hawks never trailed in their game with Kalamazoo Valley Community College on Wednesday night, but they had to hold on late to secure the 85-75 win. Lake Michigan College started off well going on a quick 8-1 run to start the game. Thanks to good pressure defense and forcing the Lady Cougars into turnovers, the Lady Red Hawks ended the first quarter with a 23-9 lead. The second quarter was much of the same in terms of good defensive pressure and forcing turnovers, but Lake Michigan was plagued with foul trouble, sending Kalamazoo Valley to the free throw line. The Lady Red Hawks maintained their double digit lead and went in halftime with a 44-23 advantage after outscoring the Lady Cougars 21-14 in the second quarter.
The start of the third quarter saw the Lady Red Hawks go on a 12-7 run, but Kalamazoo Valley began to press Lake Michigan and force the Lady Red Hawks into uncharacteristic turnovers. Lake Michigan also did not help themselves by continuing to foul and put Kalamazoo Valley at the free throw line. Both teams scored 19 points in the third quarter and going into the fourth quarter, Lake Michigan held a 63-42 lead. In the final quarter, Kalamazoo Valley began their comeback by again forcing Lake Michigan into turning over the basketball. The Lady Red Hawks also struggled to get defensive stops which has been their trademark all season long. The Lady Cougars managed to pull within eight points in the final quarter, but Lake Michigan held off the comeback by making free throws and hitting some key baskets. Kalamazoo Valley outscored Lake Michigan 33-22 in the final 10 minutes, but it was not enough and the Lady Red Hawks held on for the final 85-75 win.
After the game, Head Coach, Patrick Daniel stated "While I am happy with the win, I am disappointed that we lost our composure in the second half, especially in the fourth quarter. Every team in this conference will play hard and not quit and tonight we saw that first hand. We are a good basketball team and I know these ladies will learn from this moving forward."
For the game, Lake Michigan shot 48% (33-68) while Kalamazoo Valley shot 36% (24-66). The Lady Red Hawks had 51 rebounds and Kalamazoo Valley had 36 rebounds for the game. Lake Michigan also had 22 assists, 19 steals, and three blocks.
Samantha Jenkins led the balanced attack for Lake Michigan with 17 points. Jayla Bibbs had 15 points, and game highs in rebounds with 17 and 10 steals. Aymia Flowers also had 15 points, including 3-4 from behind the three-point line. Taylor Cegelis came off the bench and added 11 points, while Monae Palmer led the Lady Red Hawks with 11 assists. Lake Michigan is now 11-3 overall and 3-0 in the MCCAA Western Conference.
Lake Michigan returns to action on Saturday, January 12, 2019 when they travel to play National Junior College Athletic Association (NJCAA) Division II #13 ranked Mid Michigan College. Both teams are currently tied for first place in the MCCAA Western Conference with 3-0 records. Game time is 1:00 PM.