The Grand Rapids Community College Raiders continued to stay perfect at home by defeating Ancilla College 71-55. With the win they go to 6-0 at the Ford Fieldhouse. They improved to an 11-5 record with the win, but it wasn’t an easy one.
The Raiders traded points with Ancilla the entire first half. The raiders started out sluggish, allowing Ancilla to gain confidence.
“We didn’t bring the energy in the first half,” said head coach TJ Carnegie. “We played five straight road games, so when you come back home you’re going to have some tired guys.”
Throughout the first half the pace of the game was slow, and both teams had trouble scoring. Neither team could build enough momentum to pull away.
The Raiders took the lead into halftime 30-26, shooting only 36 percent from the field.
“We made it tough for ourselves,” Carnegie said.
At the start of the second half, both teams continued to battle with each other, trading baskets for baskets. It was an even game until late into the second half when the Raiders flicked on the switch and started to pull away.
The score was 50-49 in favor of Ancilla until the Raiders caught fire. The Raiders went on an 11-0 run to take the lead at 60-50. From that point the game was pretty much decided. The Raiders finished the game on a 22-5 run forcing 27 turnovers in the game.
“We started to realize that we weren’t ourselves in the first half,” said Carnegie. “We found a way to win but we can’t let teams hang around like we did.”
Sophomore Alex Mustart led the Raiders in scoring with 21 points. Freshman Deontae Hudson also chipped in with 19 points and four assists.
Both teams grabbed 40 rebounds in a physical game. Mustart and freshman Daryl White both led the team with eight rebounds apiece.
The Raiders were a completely different team in the second half and coasted to the finish line. They came away with 20 steals and controlled the tempo of the game. However, the slow start was a concern for Coach Carnegie.
“We were fortunate to pull it off,” he said. “It wasn’t pretty, but we’ll take the win.”
The Raiders head back on the road to face Jackson Community College on Jan 23., and then come back home to take on Lansing Community College Jan. 25 in hopes of stretching their home winning streak to seven games.
“We still can get better,” Carnegie said. “We don’t have much trouble scoring, so when we buy into playing defense, that’s when we will take off.”