By Jackson Heiden
Down nine at the half, the Grand Rapids Community College men’s basketball team came back late in the second half to stun Glen Oaks Community College, 78-70 for the Raiders’ second conference win of the season. They improved to 2-2 in conference play and 7-8 overall.
Everyone saw the floor tonight as GRCC’s head coach Joe Fox played 11 out of his 14 players in tonight’s defensive showcase.
“We wanted to play really fast,” Fox said. “I wanted to see what different lineups looked like, (along with) everybody getting a chance to get in to play pressure defense.”
In the first half, the Vikings came out in a zone look and sat back and invited the Raiders to shoot away. This worked in the Vikings’ favor as the Raiders shot 15 threes in the first half making only four of them. This allowed the short-handed Vikings to take control of the game and build a nine-point lead going into the break.
The scoring was bleak for the Raiders at the half as freshmen guards Jovante Jones and Diego Ledesma each scored eight points. The rest of the team (nine others) combined for 20 points.
The Vikings opened up the second half looking like they were going to run away with the game, up 50-36, until halfway through the second half, when redshirt-freshman guard Danyel Bibbs and sophomore guard Ryel Daye jumpstarted their comeback. The Raiders turned off the three-ball in the second half as they looked to be more aggressive in the paint, and that’s exactly what they did. Bibbs continued his hot streak, putting up 15 second-half points with a team-leading 18 total points. Daye snatched another double-double by scoring 15 points and grabbing 10 boards after only putting up three in the first half.
“We had to take advantage,” Bibbs said. “Them (only) having six players, we had to push the ball. My thought going into the second half was to push the ball, get all my teammates involved and play good defense. The game plan was to send me to the line and I answered the challenge.”
Following the Raiders’ conference win, they will come back home to take on Muskegon Community College, Wednesday, Jan. 19 at 7:30 p.m. at Gordon Hunsberger Arena.
“They’ve only dropped one game in the league and it was by two points,” Fox said. “It’s gonna be a big test and we’re excited to get back home.”
Wednesday night is also the final night of GRCC Athletics and Student Life pairing up to fight student hunger. If you bring one or two canned goods to the game, your admission will be $1. If you bring three or more canned goods, your admission to Wednesday night’s game will be free.
All canned goods will be donated to GRCC’s food pantry which is designed to meet the immediate food needs of students on campus by providing a variety of non-perishable food items and necessities to students and their families.