The Grand Rapids Community College men’s and women’s basketball teams were on the road Wednesday night facing off against the Muskegon Community College Jayhawks.
The women’s team did battle first and were trying to end their two-game losing streak. Unfortunately for the Raiders, conference play hasn’t been easy and they dropped their third straight game to a conference opponent 69-56.
Women’s head coach Dave Glazier thinks his team came in ready to play, but first half foul trouble put a wrench in their game plan.
“We got into some early foul trouble at some key positions from a defensive scheme point of view,” Glazier said. “But I felt like our reserves came ready to go knowing the game plan and executing as asked. Emily Pendred continues to do so many things for us that don’t end up on the stat sheet, specifically tonight guarding arguably the best post player in the conference, Dellaney Bolles. She is the reigning conference player of the year.”
Even with the loss, Glazier feels like his team has been putting forward a strong performance defensively. He predicts the team’s first game on campus in nearly a year could be just the thing to give his team a boost on the offensive side of the ball.
“I felt Mya Jordan gave us a spark offensively, but the team as a whole had a better offensive rhythm tonight than we’ve had in the past two games,” Glazier said. “We are definitely ready to get our first true home game of the year Friday. Hopefully being at home will help us turn the corner offensively, because I’m pleased with our attention to detail on the defensive end.”
With this loss, the Raiders are still looking for their first conference win. They have fallen to 0-3 in conference and 9-5 overall. They will take their next shot at a win on Friday, Jan. 11 when they host the Lansing Community College Stars in the newly renovated Gerald R. Ford Fieldhouse at 5:30 p.m.
Unlike the women’s team, the men’s team came into their game with the Jayhawks hot, riding a four-game winning streak including the first two conference games. The Raiders were able to keep that momentum and took down Muskegon 88-68.
Men’s head coach Luke Bronkema credited the Raiders’ defense and rebounding as a major factor in the team’s fifth straight win.
“We did great rebounding the ball and defending the rim,” Bronkema said. “Diego Robinson had 20 rebounds and 10 points – also had some other stats in there too, but the 20 rebounds was just a big night for him, especially with Ike (Kanu) getting two early fouls and sitting.”
Team captain Sammie Ryans had another big night leading the Raiders in scoring with 25 points while also adding seven boards. Camren Spicer added to the Raiders’ offensive output shooting 8-10 from the field for 20 points.
Bronkema and the Raiders are ready for a home game, but it wasn’t lost on him that his team has been playing great basketball on the road. He even joked that he wouldn’t mind keeping the road trips going.
“Hey, right now I like playing on the road the way that we’ve been playing on the road,” Bronkema stated with a chuckle. “We’ve been practicing on the road, playing on the road, so our guys are just up for anything, they’re ready to go. But, it’s going to definitely be nice and it’s going to be exciting to play our first home game.”
The Raiders improve to 3-0 in conference play and 10-4 overall. The Raiders will go for their sixth straight win Friday night when they host Lansing at the Ford Fieldhouse at 7:30 p.m.