It was a tale of two halves Friday night as the Grand Rapids Community College Raiders men’s basketball team suffered another defeat, faltering in the second half against the Kalamazoo Valley Community College Cougars, losing 85-73. The loss marked the second consecutive home defeat for the Raiders, and their third in the last four games overall.
The Raiders played a decent first half, outscoring the Cougars 38-32. The Raiders improved their free throw shooting by connecting on all eight of their free throws in the first half. The Raiders started the game on an 8-2 run but couldn’t put the Cougars away.
The second half started with an 11-0 eruption from the Cougars, giving them the lead at 42-38. The Raiders struggled to keep up and the Cougars took advantaged and stole the momentum.
“We came out flat,” said Raiders Head Coach TJ Carnegie. “We failed to match their intensity and assumed we had already won the game”.
The Cougars continued to increase their intensive play by extending their lead to 17 points. The Raiders aided the Cougars by turning the ball over and failing to capitalize on the offensive end of the court.
“There was a sense of confusion out there,” Carnegie said. “We played on our heels the whole second half.”
Freshman forward Deontae Hudson and sophomore forward Alex Mustert both scored 20 points for the Raiders. The Raiders went from shooting 42 percent in the first half to shooting 37 percent in the second. Their free throw shooting also decreased as the Raiders shot 43 percent from the line in the second half.
“We need to think about how we lost and figure out what we need to do to get better as a team,” said freshman guard Daryl White.
The Raiders let one slip away, but they still have time to pull things together.
“We need to put together a 40 minute game,” said Coach Carnegie. “We have had games where we didn’t play well for one minute, but then we have games like tonight, where we play poor for 17 minutes, and you can’t do that if you’re going to win games.”
The Raiders will attempt to get back on track when they face Kellogg Community College Feb. 6, at the Ford Fieldhouse.