By Mike Staley – Collegiate Staff
The Grand Rapids Community College Women’s basketball team lost a tough game at home Wednesday night at the hands of the Muskegon Community College Jayhawks by a score of 69-49.
The Raiders fell to 10-10 overall and 3-7 in Michigan Community College Athletic Association play. The Raiders fell behind early in the game and tried to play catch-up the rest of the night. The team shot 30 percent (8-26) from the field and zero percent (0-8) from long distance in the first half. Some key factors in their early deficit were turnovers and rebounds. The Raiders had 11 turnovers and gave up nine offensive boards in the first half to the Jayhawks allowing them second chance opportunities.
After falling behind 5-0 in the first minute of the game, sophomore forward Makayla Beld opened the scoring for the Raiders with a 25-foot jump shot from the top of the key. The Jayhawks responded with six unanswered points via a shot from long range and three free-throws.
At the end of the first half, the Jayhawks held a commanding 38-22 lead.
“We played a little timid in that first half,” said Head Coach Dave Glazier in a post game interview. “It was like we were a half second behind on everything, so we just talked about finding that next level and seeing things as they’re about to happen versus waiting for them to happen and then reacting to them.”
The Raiders came out flat in the second half allowing MCC to go on a 16-1 scoring run. Overall, the Jayhawks outscored the Raiders 20-7 in the third quarter and left the Raiders entering the fourth quarter with a 58-29 deficit.
“We came out slow,” said sophomore guard Qua Draper. “Once we start out slow, it’s hard for us to finish and once we’re down by so much, it’s kind of hard for us to get back up.”
The beginning of the fourth quarter didn’t get any better for the Raiders as they went scoreless in the first five minutes until Draper drained a three-pointer by crossing over her defender causing her to fall to the hardwood.
After this loss, the Raiders have now dropped their last three games.
“I just feel like we’ve got to move on,” said Draper. “We took three L’s but we just have to work hard in practice and just think positive instead of having our heads down when we’re down by a lot.”
The statistics were slightly better during the second half with the Raiders shooting 32 percent (10-31) from the field and 26 percent (4-15) from three-point range. However, the Raiders couldn’t fix their mental errors giving up a total of 19 turnovers and allowing 15 offensive rebounds to the Jayhawks.
There was a positive note to this game, however. The Raiders went on a tear to close out the game scoring 20 points in the last five minutes.
After the game, Glazier talked about possible changes to the lineup to give the team a better chance at victories going forward.
“As a coaching staff, we’re talking about who can we put in that’s going to spark us defensively to help us get a stop,” Glazier said. “Right now we need to find a way to get our starters to play with the urgency that our subs are playing with. Every day is a competition for that starting spot, and I think right now there’s some (starting spots) that are open.”
It remains to be seen if Glazier will tinker with the lineup heading into the Raiders next game.
The Raiders will try to rebound from their three-game skid this weekend when they head to Lansing to take on the Lansing Community College Stars at 1 p.m. Saturday, Feb. 10. The next home game for the Raiders will be 5:30 p.m. Wednesday, Feb. 14.