By Jackson Heiden
The Grand Rapids Community College men’s basketball team dropped their fourth conference game of the season, 95-83, to Kalamazoo Valley Community College whose fast-paced offense proved to be too much to handle.
The Raiders started the game out slow, not attacking the basket as much as hoped.
“I thought we just got a little impatient,” said GRCC’s head coach Joe Fox. “Once they started making a run we would start forcing a little bit and that just adds to other team’s runs.”
Going into halftime the Raiders faced their biggest deficit of the season down 20, 55-35, and struggled to get anything consistent going.
The Raiders started the second half with a little pep in their step as their defense stepped up and held the Cougars to 40 second-half points. Great team defense led to energy on the offensive end as that showed up more during the second half, scoring 48 total second-half points.
Although the Raiders lost to the number one team in the conference, sophomore guard Ryel Daye continued his hot streak with another double-double. Daye had 19 points along with 13 boards.
“I don’t want to downplay it by saying it’s not surprising…” Fox said. “We see it in practice. This is the kind of player he is, he plays hard.”
Redshirt-sophomore guard Andrew Moore continued his hot scoring streak by putting up 15. Redshirt-freshman guard Danyel Bibbs had himself a 13-point performance while redshirt-freshman guard Brockton Kohler jump-started his scoring again by putting up 11 points. Although not huge in the scoring department, redshirt-freshman forward Nyuon Nhial had himself a nice day on the defensive end by grabbing 14 boards and seven points.
Despite their last few opponents being at the top of the league, the Raiders have been on a bit of a rough stretch lately, dropping four of their last five games and falling three games below .500.
“It’s the little things. Little things make all the difference in our league,” Fox said. “We’re missing out on a few little things. We’re a week past from pretty good efforts against Lansing, so we just got to get back to how we were playing earlier this week.”
The Raiders will get a day to recoup before they have to get back on the road to take on Lake Michigan College this Monday at 7:30 p.m.
“They struggled earlier in the year but they’re really playing great lately,” Fox said. “To be honest the league is just very, very balanced, so we have to bring it every night.”