The Grand Rapids Community College men’s basketball team suffered a tough 82-64 loss at the hands of the Mott Community College Bears late Saturday afternoon.
The Raiders opened the game ice cold and other than some Diego Robinson and Camren Spicer free throws, didn’t register a field goal for the first six minutes of the game. After falling behind 13-3, the Raiders went on a 12-2 run to tie the game up at 15.
GRCC head coach Luke Bronkema credited the team for not letting the slow start dictate how they played the rest of the game.
“We just stayed positive, we make sure that we have a good mindset,” Bronkema said. “The nice thing about that was we played really well on the defensive end, and we actually were able to pick up a few (points) from the free throw line and get them in foul trouble early.”
Sophomore and Raiders’ team captain Sammie Ryans drained a three-pointer just before the half to bring GRCC within three points at halftime. In the second half, the game remained close until Mott went on a 13-3 run with under seven minutes left to take a 66-53 lead.
During the Bears’ run, there were some questionable officiating calls made against the Raiders that frustrated Bronkema and the Raiders’ bench. The Raiders’ were issued a technical foul which seemed to be the proverbial icing on the cake.
The Raiders never recovered from the Bears’ late-game onslaught and ended up suffering the 18-point loss.
This was the Raiders’ second loss of the season to Mott, both of which were lopsided final scores. Bronkema addressed what makes Mott such a tough opponent.
“(Mott is) just a good team overall, well coached,” Bronkema said. “They hit some shots at crucial times down the stretch. They also had a couple of and-ones and a couple three-pointers all within three or four possessions. Late in the game, it’s tough to bounce back and rebound from a few shots in a row like that.”
Despite the loss, there were some bright spots for the Raiders. Freshman forward Ike Kanu had 10 points and an amazing 15 rebounds in the game. Another freshman forward D’Avery Moore played some big minutes off the bench and added eight points.
Ryans had a huge game and was a constant for the Raiders in this game. Bronkema was pleased with his 24-point, eight-rebound performance and said he had a good night shooting and appreciated the minutes he played, “but unfortunately, it wasn’t quite enough to get the win.”
Saturday’s loss to the Bears ended the Raiders’ four-game winning streak and moves their record to just one game over .500 at 5-4. The Raiders will be back in action when they face the Aquinas College Saints JV squad at Aquinas on Tuesday, Dec. 18 at 8 p.m.