By Kaia Zimmerman
Grand Rapids Community College’s women’s basketball team extended their win streak to seven games after they traveled to Port Huron on Tuesday, March 16, to face St. Clair County Community College, winning 69-62.
Head Coach David Glazier was happy with the win, but also felt there were some things the team could have improved on.
“We are always happy to get a win, but I think we can play better as a unit,” Glazier said. “We did too many things that were selfish and not team focused. (At halftime) we talked about playing for each other and every second that the ball is live play together.”
GRCC sophomore Jayla Bibbs was the leading scorer of the game and also got her second consecutive double-double with 19 points and 15 rebounds along with one block and four steals.
“I’m playing with a purpose,” Bibbs said. “I think what has been working for me on both ends of the floor is my defense. My defense sparks my offense and it’s only up from there.”
Sophomore Danielle Lamancusa also had a solid game with eight points and 10 rebounds and one block. Lamancusa and Bibbs have both been dominant in the forward position to help the Raiders.
“Their activity on the boards is something we can’t replace,” said Glazier. “It’s impressive to watch those two work. They can give us energy, they can give us great plays inside, and they are irreplaceable for us.”
The Raiders had a slow start shooting 28% from the field in the first quarter. However, the Skippers also came out slow offensively as the Raiders continued the defensive intensity they have carried throughout the season. The Raiders had great defensive positions to also cause the Skippers to have a slow start. GRCC had trouble getting the 3-point shot to fall causing issues with scoring, but due to the Skippers lack of size and depth in the paint, the Raiders out rebounded the Skippers 49-29 in the game, resulting in 20 second-chance points.
In the second quarter, the Raiders had a little more success shooting to give them a slight lead, but the Skippers were right behind the Raiders the whole quarter. Sophomore Shonyah Hawkins came up big for GRCC in the first two quarters, scoring 11 points. Hawkins would end up picking up her second foul midway through the quarter causing her to have to sit the rest of the quarter. The Raiders would go into the half up with a small lead, 27-25.
GRCC came out of the half with a nice run to put them up early in the third quarter. The team seemed more energetic and were playing more as a team which gave them a nine-point lead, 34-25 in the first few minutes of the quarter. Lamancusa and Bibbs came up big on the defensive end for the Raiders helping them maintain a lead. Along with 10 points, Bibbs got rebound number 10, to secure a second straight double-double. The Raiders were up by six when Hawkins received a personal and technical foul, which gave St. Clair four free throws cutting the lead to two points. For Hawkins this was her fourth foul causing her to sit until the last few minutes of the fourth quarter. At the four-minute mark, the Skippers would tie the game, but as the quarter was coming to the end, the Raiders went on a nice run to regain the lead going up by eight by the end of the third quarter, 48-40.
Lamancusa and Bibbs made huge impacts on both ends of the court helping the Raiders maintain their lead in the fourth quarter. The Skippers kept fighting to get back in the game, but the Raiders did a good job on defense to stop the Skippers from making a run which resulted in them closing the game out with a win.
The Raiders will look to continue their win streak against sixth-ranked, undefeated Macomb Community College at the Ford Fieldhouse on Saturday, March 20 at 1 p.m. You can watch the game on the GRCC Athletics Youtube Channel.
“We gotta show up,” Glazier said. “They are highly skilled and we got our work cut out for us. We have to play 40 minutes of team basketball, and I think we can and we can compete, but it’s gotta be 40 minutes of team.”