By Kaia Zimmerman
The Grand Rapids Community College women’s basketball team secured the season series against Glen Oaks Community College, 2-0, on Tuesday, March 30, with a comfortable win, 65-43.
The night started off with honoring the sophomores of the team as this was possibly the last time they would play at the Ford Fieldhouse.
“It’s tough honestly,” said sophomore Danielle Lamancusa when talking about her last game at the fieldhouse. “It started here and we only get two years here, so it’s hard leaving, but it’s been fun.”
The Raiders were led by sophomore Shonyah Hawkins who had 12 points, three steals and three rebounds along with Jayla Bibbs who recorded her third double-double of the season and continued her nationally ranked success on the boards with 22 rebounds along with 12 points, four steals, three blocks and three assists.
The bench came up big for the Raiders with 22 points, and sophomore Abigale Rouwhorst put on a show off the bench scoring 12 points along with five rebounds in 14 minutes.
“(Rouwhorst) has just been waiting for the opportunity, and she has been patient,” said Head Coach David Glazier. “She had herself a game. It’s sophomore night, and I was excited to see her play like that.”
The Raiders had a sloppy start to the game, resulting in three straight turnovers and zero points in the first three minutes of the game. Hawkins got the Raiders going off of a nice move to the bucket to get them the first points of the game. This was one of the slowest starts for GRCC this season, only scoring nine points in the first quarter, but they played great defense on the other end to only let up three points going up, 9-3, at the end of the first.
The Raiders’ struggles continued into the second quarter with turnovers and missed open shot opportunities on the offensive end. However, GRCC continued their dominance on the defensive end to maintain the lead over Glen Oaks.. Sophomore Olivia Koetje got the Raiders going a little with four points along with Bibbs who had four points in the quarter. The Raiders would end the quarter still struggling to get points, but would be up 21-14 at the half.
After the half the Raiders locked in, as Hawkins came up big with eight points in the third quarter along with six points for Bibbs. Rouwhorst came off the bench to also make a big impact. The Raiders have had a lot of success in the third quarter this season outsourcing opponents 221-127, and did the same tonight outscoring the Vikings 26-12 in the third quarter to extend the lead 47-26.
In the fourth quarter, the Raiders maintained their energy on both ends which helped them extend the lead and close the game out to get their third straight win.
Hawkins went down with an ankle injury early in the fourth quarter, but had no doubt she would be back on Thursday for their game against Muskegon Community College.
“I hurt it a couple weeks ago, and I came down funny on it,” Hawkins said. “I will be ready to go on Thursday.”
Along with the leading scorers, the Raiders also had contributions from Koetje (eight points and two rebounds), Green-boyd (six points, five rebounds and a steal), freshman Trayana Starr-Thurman (five points and five rebounds), and Lamancusa (five points, nine rebounds and five blocks).
GRCC will have an important game against Muskegon Community College upcoming this week. The Raiders are excited to face the Jayhawks who are the only team in the conference who was able to win against GRCC this season. They feel they are prepared and have improved since the last time they played MCC.
“I’m so ready for it,” said Lamancusa. “I’m pretty confident, and everyone is confident in this game. The first time we played them is when we really didn’t know each other, didn’t know how we played, and we figured it out and have played really good so far, so I think we are going to go in and dominate.”
The Raiders will travel to Muskegon on Thursday, April 1, to close out the regular season against Muskegon Community College. You can watch the upcoming game on Muskegon Community College’s Youtube Channel.
“It is a big (game),” said Glazier. “All we can do is prep, understand what they do well and what we do well, and try to take some of theirs away, and do the things we do well, and do them well.”