After a tough one-point loss to Mid-Michigan College on Feb. 5, the Grand Rapids Community College men’s basketball team lost 82-69 against Jackson College on Feb. 7 with the absence of Head Coach Jeff Bauer. Bauer was reported to have been absent from the game with a stomach bug.
The Raiders were unable to tie the season series against the Jets with a previous 63-60 loss on Jan. 10. The shooting numbers for both nights were almost identical – 32.8% overall, 26.7% 3pt, 63.2% FT on Jan 10. For Feb. 7 – 39.1% overall, 24% 3pt, 65% FT.
After a slow start for the Raiders and a 24-13 run by the Jets, sophomore forward Johnny Davis helped the Raiders chip away at their deficit with seven straight points. Davis was one of two players to score in double figures, contributing a double-double (15 points and 12 rebounds). Davis spoke on how Bauer’s absence affected the game and how the Raiders will continue moving forward.
“It was really last minute and it kind of threw everybody off,” Davis said. “We still tried to come out and get a win. We’ve been on losing streaks before and have bounced back with the energy we can play with – that’s what we need to continue.”
With early foul trouble and only one of nine three-pointers attempted falling for the Raiders, the first half ended with a 34-32 lead for Jackson.
The second half is what led to the Raiders’ demise, as the Jets came out hot on a 10-0 scoring run. After the early timeout called by the Raiders, shots continued to clank off the rim. Jackson started to heat up from behind the arc (9 of 19 in the second half) and willed themselves to a 61-46 lead with eight minutes to go. Even with continuous substitutions and different plays being called each time the Raiders were on offense, the Jets’ run couldn’t be stopped. This eventually led to the win for Jackson.
Freshman guard Jaylen Williams was the team’s leading scorer of the night (19 points) and returned to the lineup after missing four games with the flu. Williams is one of the bigger catalysts for the Raiders’ offense and spoke on what the transition was like after his absence.
“It was pretty good,” Williams said. “(Peyton) Vis has been playing really well the last few games and holding it down. We just have to keep pushing and continuing winning games.”
Williams also commented on Bauer’s absence and its effect on the game.
“He’s really vocal and animated on the sideline, so not having that tonight was a little different” Williams said. “We still fought hard.”
The Raiders’ home record is now 9-3, with an overall record of 13-10. The next home game will be against Ancilla College – the previous match this season ending in a 100-82 loss for the Raiders (third biggest of season). The game will be on Feb. 12 at 7:30 p.m. in the Ford Fieldhouse. Admission for the public is $3 and free for any individual with a GRCC student I.D.