By Jackson Heiden
The Kellogg Community College Bruins sink a 3-point buzzer-beater to end the game as the Grand Rapids Community College men’s basketball team loses a tightly contested game, 89-87.
“We wanted to focus offensively going into today,” said GRCC’s head coach Joe Fox. “I thought we did a much better job.”
The Raiders and Bruins matched each other by trading buckets throughout the entirety of the first half. The biggest lead was seven points held by the Bruins early in the first half but that was quickly erased as the Raiders stormed back to keep pace. Heading into the locker room the game was tied at 36.
The Raiders took the game by the reins as they came out of the half with momentum and rode that to give themselves a 14-point lead with seven minutes left to play, bringing the score to 70-56.
“We thought that if we executed our offense, we (could) have some guys who could get to the basket, driving,” Fox said. “I thought we did a really nice job of that and kicking the ball (out) early in the second half.”
The Bruins slowly began to crawl their way back into the game as the Raiders held the lead up until the 29-second mark in the second half when the Bruins hit the game-tying two-pointer.
“They tightened up a bit late and some of our driving lanes closed,” Fox said. “That was tough. But I thought that’s how we got our rebounds and extended our lead that way.”
The Raiders found themselves in their seventh overtime of the season, as they quickly captured a four-point lead. They would hold the lead for most of the quarter until a couple of missed shots by redshirt-freshman Justus Clark and a three-pointer by the Bruins, and the game was tied at 86 with 31 seconds left to play.
A personal foul committed by the Bruins sent Clark to the free-throw line for two. Clark hit one of two to give the Raiders a one-point lead with six seconds to go in overtime. The Bruins got up a tough shot from three and hit it to win the game as the buzzer sounded.
The Raiders’ found themselves shorthanded tonight as freshman-guard Diego Ledesma is still working through a toe sprain and Danyel Bibbs was out for reasons the coach declined to mention.
Sophomore guard Ryel Daye had himself a night as he recorded his first career triple-double scoring 22 points, 15 rebounds, 11 assists along with two steals. Redshirt-sophomore guard Andrew Moore led the team in scoring as he put up 28 points along with grabbing five rebounds. Redshirt-freshman guard Brockton Kohler followed up Daye’s impressive performance with 11 points, five assists, and four rebounds. Freshman-guard Rico Wade gave the bench life as he scored 11 points along with three rebounds and three steals.
The Raiders look to carry the offensive momentum into their three-game homestand as they head back home looking to complete the season series sweep against Glen Oaks Community College, Wednesday Feb. 2 at 7:30 p.m. at the Gordon Hunsberger Arena.
“We got them down at their place, but they were down a couple of guys,” Fox said. “They should be back to full speed and we should be too, so it should be a good matchup. We’re excited to get back into the gym.”