The Grand Rapids Community College Men’s Raiders Basketball team battled the Hope College Flying Dutchmen to a 85-80 victory at the Ford Fieldhouse Tuesday to move the Raiders to (5-1) on the season.
It was a battle from the opening tip. A lid seemed to be on the Raiders’ basket in the first half as they struggled to score at times, then turned on the scoring late in the first half to open up a 48-42 halftime lead. Sophomore Guard, Curtis Davison, led the way in the first half for the Raiders by scoring 22 points on eight of 17 shooting with 11 points on three-of-seven shooting coming from Sophomore Guard Zach Pangborn. Davison finished the game with 32 points and Pangborn with 17.
“I feel good,” Davison said after the game. “My body was sore and cramping up at the end, but it was a team effort, we came out and played solid on defense, crunch time we came to ball. Thirty points? That was my teammates helping me out and making it easy for me.”
Turnovers seemed to be the theme in the first half as Hope committed 11 with GRCC committing only six. Inside scoring was back and forth as the Raiders scored 14 in the paint while Hope scored 12 in the first half.
GRCC’s Freshman Forward Gregory Robinson suffered an apparent knee injury in the middle of the first half.
“It was a minor ankle,” said Raiders Head Coach Luke Bronkema. “We’re hoping to have him back sooner rather than later.”
The second half was tough sledding for the Raiders as they saw their six-point lead evaporate with 15 minutes to play. The offense turned on the jets and the defense stood on its head extended their lead in a quick turn of momentum going for the Raiders.
Momentum was key and seemingly switched every possession as the Dutchmen shrunk their deficit to as close as five with just over 12 minutes to play, and then to two points just over the halfway point of the second half.
The crowd in Gordon Hunsberger Arena was electrified by the Raiders ending a Dutchmen run sealed by a Ca’Nas Coleman dunk with just over eight-and-a-half minutes to play.
Over the next five minutes the pace of the game picked up and the lead never extended past a possession for either team.
“I think our team played hard for 40 minutes,” Bronkema said. “We didn’t play perfect, but they played hard for 40 minutes and that’s always good to see.”
The Raiders showed poise throughout the last two minutes of the game on the defensive end of the floor and at the free-throw-line to seal the game for the Raiders.
After the holiday, the Raiders return to action on Thurs., Nov. 30, against the Grace Bible College Junior Varsity team with tip-off scheduled for 7 p.m. at the Ford Fieldhouse.