The Grand Rapids Community College Raiders men’s basketball team suffered another tough loss on Friday to the Lansing Community College Stars. The loss was their first at home and seventh overall.
The Raiders started the game with good pace and tempo, aggressively pushing the ball up the court.
The Stars matched the Raiders’ intensity by getting out into transition as well. Neither team gave up an inch throughout the first half.
The Raiders shot the ball well in the first half, hitting 53 percent of their shots from the field. They were firing on all cylinders, but the Stars didn’t let up.
The game reached the half with the Raiders leading 51-47. The Stars was the stronger team, but the Raiders used their speed to gain their half-time lead.
The second half was much like the first, tightly contested. The Raiders jumped out to a small lead, but the Stars stormed right back, not allowing the Raiders to pull away.
Down the stretch, Lansing overpowered the Raiders with their rebounding, outrebounding them by 18.
“They hurt us on the boards,” said Head Coach TJ Carnegie. “There were a lot of 50-50 balls that they were just faster to.”
The Raiders led for the majority of the game, but the Stars hung around and took the lead, never allowing the Raiders to recover.
The Raiders had no answer for the Stars’ size and strength in the paint, and it showed in the final minutes. Every rebound and loose ball the Stars were able to get ultimately doomed the Raiders’ chances.
The Raiders’ poor free throw shooting added to Lansing’s fuel. They shot a disappointing 27 percent.
“The free throw shooting killed us,” Carnegie said. “We win that game if we make our free throws.”
The Raiders also shot 23 percent from the three-point line. The team fell to a 10-7 overall season record.
“We had opportunities to win, but we just have to keep working on it,” Carnegie said. “We played together tonight, and we still have to get better at the little things.”
The next men’s game will be away at 7:30 p.m. Jan. 30 against Lake Michigan College in Benton Harbor.