By Kaia Zimmerman
Grand Rapids Community College Women’s Basketball extended their win streak to five games after winning big against Delta College on Wednesday, March 10, 77-53.
This is the first game for the Raiders where fans were in attendance. There were limited people in the stands, social distancing and required masks at all times in the arena.
“It’s nice to have people that motivate us there and having fans there is a big thing in the game,” sophomore Danielle Lamancusa said.
Sophomore Jayla Bibbs was the major factor in the Raiders success in both ends of the court. She had a double-double with 16 points and an outstanding 25 rebounds, 12 of them on the offensive end. She also had two blocks and four steals.
“Twenty-five rebounds and 12 on the offensive end means we can have an off night and she is going to go get it, and we are going to have another chance,” said Head Coach David Glazier
For Bibbs, this game was personal as she was playing for her uncle who has recently passed away. She dedicated her performance against Delta College to him.
Other players who stood out in the game were Lamancusa and Sophomore Eurasia Green-Boyd. Lamancusa had 16 points along with nine rebounds and two blocks. Green-Boyd had a total of 10 points and was a spark for the Raiders.
“(Green-Boyd) is a firecracker,” said Glazier. “When she is on the floor for us defensively, it changes things. We can guard a little differently with her on the floor. Tonight she had a great start offensively that sparked us.”
The Raiders came out aggressive in the first quarter that started the success they had all night. Good defensive plays by the Raiders turned into points on the other end that gave them an early lead. Green-Boyd was the spark the Raiders needed as she hit two shots behind the line to get the Raiders moving and had 10 points in the quarter. Bibbs also continued her rebounding success from previous games, averaging 11 rebounds per game, into this game, coming up with several offensive rebounds in the first quarter to give the Raiders second chance opportunities. The Pioneers ran a full-court press which caused some early turnovers for the Raiders, but GRCC didn’t let that affect their overall performance. The Raiders would go up early, 22-10.
The second quarter started off slow for both teams on the offensive end, but the teams were playing strong defense. Both teams seemed to have intensity going into the quarter as they were playing heavy contact which led to a lot of fouls. The referees threatened to give double technical to two Raiders because they were upset with the officiating. Aside from the officiating, the Raiders had another dominant quarter to extend their lead. Bibbs came up big on the defensive end with a block and a couple of steals, sending GRCC into halftime up 38-26 over the Pioneers.
After the half, the Raiders had all the momentum on their side, and they started to create an even bigger lead. The Raiders continued their domination on the defensive end with big plays by Bibbs and Sophomore Olivia Koetje. Lamancusa and Bibbs came up big on the other side of the court extending the lead. The referees called a double technical on Bibbs and Pioneers forward Destiny Harrison because they were talking back and forth. As the third quarter came to a close the Raiders held a sizable lead 56-36.
In the fourth quarter, the Raiders maintained their big lead with good possessions on both ends. While they did let the Pioneers get back some points, the Raiders closed out the game strong, winning 77-53, and improved their record to 5-1.
Glazier gave credit to the teamwork and communication for the success they have had this season so far.
“We are growing together as a team,” said Glazier. “I think we are getting better at playing as a team both defensively and offensively and when we are playing as one defensively, it leads to such great things offensively.”
The Raiders hope to continue their success against Ancilla College this Friday, March 12 starting at 5:30 p.m. You can catch the game by going to the GRCC Athletics Youtube Channel.