After a 12 day break, the Grand Rapids Community College men’s basketball team finished strong against Glen Oaks Community College Monday night, 97-91, snapping a two-game losing streak.
“We really didn’t want to start off as slow as we did,” said freshmen Claude Finley about the win. “I’m glad we turned it around in the second-half.”
Finley finished the game with 21 points, and a few a rebounds to go along with it.
Although the Raiders ended the first-half without a whole lot of momentum, they picked it up in the second, outscoring Glen Oaks 56-38.
“We pride ourselves on defense, and they were very aggressive to the basket,” said Glen Oaks head coach Steve Proefrock. “They knew they had to come out strong in the second half. They came out on point and we came out flat footed … We missed a lot of layups, a lot of free throws and we took bad shots down the stretch, that’s a recipe for disaster.”
There was an interesting twist to the game as there were two previous Glen Oaks players, sophomores Abdul McGraw and Malik Fisher, playing for the Raiders in the match up.
“It was a lot of fun, but I was more focused on getting the win,” McGraw said. “It was a game to remember.”
McGraw led the team in scoring, finishing with 24 points, and also stacked on eight rebounds to an already impressive night.
Although the Raiders did not do well in the first half, finishing 16/34 from the field, they fought through it and held Glen Oaks to only 28 percent from the field in the second-half, which would help give the Raiders the win.
“We got the ‘W’ at the end of the day, but it was a tale of two halves,” Head Coach Mike Spicer said. “I thought the first half, we came out very lackluster, flat, not a lot of energy, and really just got out played, especially on the boards.”
The coaches gave a special halftime speech, showing NFL player Charles Woodson’s pregame speech to his teammates on the Oakland Raiders this past Sunday.
“We talked to them about playing with some heart,” Spicer said. “Coach Robinson played the soundbyte of Charles Woodson’s pregame speech to the Raiders yesterday and basically asked them [GRCC basketball team] ‘What are you playing for? Are y’all just here to play like it’s open gym, or are you playing for respect and playing for pride and playing to win?’ And we challenged them to do that and they came out and did that.”
GRCC plays at Muskegon Community College at 7:30 p.m. Wednesday.