Lake Michigan College Women's Basketball team struggled offensively in the first half, but got things going in the second half leading them to a 62-45 win over Grand Rapids Community College on Wednesday night. The Lady Red Hawks and coaches wore orange T-Shirts to support the Child Tough Foundation for childhood brain cancer research, specifically for Diffuse Intrinsic Pontine Glioma.
From the tip-off, Lake Michigan had a hard time putting the ball in the basket. While giving themselves plenty of chances, the Lady Red Hawks could not covert their many opportunities to score. Grand Rapids took advantage and got out to an early lead, but thanks to some good defensive stops, the Lady Red Hawks managed to lead 18-15 after the first quarter.
In the second quarter, Lake Michigan continued to miss shots and the Lady Raiders took advantage going on an 11-1 run to take a five-point lead (24-19). But after forcing turnovers and beginning to score, the Lady Red Hawks went on their own 9-1 run to take a 28-25 heading into halftime. Both teams scored 10 points in the second quarter. In the first half, Lake Michigan shot just 23% (10-42) while Grand Rapids shot 37% (9-24). Lake Michigan did hold a 30-17 rebounding advantage.
In the third quarter, the game remained close with neither team gaining an advantage. The score was tied at 34 and then the Lady Red Hawks forced several turnovers by the Lady Raiders to get their offense going. Lake Michigan closed out the quarter on a 12-0 run and went in the final 10 minutes with a 12-point lead (46-34). The Lady Red Hawks outscored Grand Rapids 18-9 in the third quarter.
The fourth quarter saw Lake Michigan take their largest lead of the game at 18 points and they were able to maintain their lead throughout the quarter. Still not shooting well, the Lady Red Hawks dominated the rebounding battle and outscored Grand Rapids 16-11 in the final quarter to secure the 62-45 win. Lake Michigan outscored the Lady Raiders 34-20 in the second half.
With the win, Lake Michigan moves to 21-5 overall and 13-2 in the Michigan Community College Athletic Association (MCCAA) Western Conference, which keeps them in a tie for first-place. The Lady Red Hawks who are now on a five game winning streak also improved their home record to 12-0 this season.
After the game, Head Coach, Patrick Daniel stated "Our defensive effort and ability to rebound the basketball on the offensive end really helped us win this game tonight. Tonight we did not shoot the ball well, but we made plays when we needed to and I am proud of how we responded in the second half."
For the game, Lake Michigan shot just 27% (23-83) while Grand Rapids converted on 31% of their shots (18-57). Lake Michigan out rebounded the Lady Raiders 67-43, including a season high 34 offensive rebounds. As a team, Lake Michigan had 16 steals, 15 assists, and seven blocks and forced Grand Rapids to commit 23 turnovers. The Lady Red Hawks only committed 14 turnovers.
Four players scored in double figures for Lake Michigan led by Jayla Bibbs with 16 points. Samantha Jenkins had 14 points, Breanna Alexander added 12 points and Taylor Cegelis chipped in 10 points. Alexander also had 15 rebounds and Bibbs pulled down 14 rebounds. Jenkins dished out six assists, Bibbs had six steals and Cegelis blocked three shots.
Lake Michigan will be on the road on Saturday, February 23 when they travel to Lansing Community College. Game time is at 1 PM.