Home Featured News Inconsistent offense leads to Raiders tough loss against top conference opponent

Inconsistent offense leads to Raiders tough loss against top conference opponent

Ryel Daye goes up for the difficult layup in loss versus Muskegon CC (Kristen Schestag)

By Jackson Heiden

After a strong start, the Grand Rapids Community College men’s basketball team became too inconsistent and lost a close one against rival Muskegon Community College, 102-94, moving their record to 7-9 overall and 2-3 in conference play.

The Raiders opened up the game looking the strongest they have at home all season. Communication was on point, the bench was riled up, and the sets they were running were clean and working to perfection.

After being up 22-11 to start the game, the Raiders’ defense fell apart and the three’s went cold. The Raiders were outscored 32-12 in the final 10 minutes of the first half as the Jayhawks waltzed into halftime with a 48-41 lead. 

“We talked the whole week about how when we execute we’re a really tough team to stop,” said GRCC’s head coach Joe Fox. “Early we did a great job of running stuff and getting the looks we wanted. Then we drifted away from it a little bit. We got a little individual. (We) looked for our own shots that we were looking to create as a team and I thought it really hurt us in the second half of the first half.”

The same energy that was seen during the first 10 minutes of the first half showed up coming out of the break. The Raiders erased their seven-point deficit coming within three points of the Jayhawks. Following the hot start, a giant game of catchup ensued. The Jayhawks would go up ahead by six to eight points and then the Raiders would fight their way back. They briefly captured the lead once more, but it was quickly erased as the Jayhawks continued their strong pursuit of attacking the rim. 

“I thought there were inopportune times we tried to (comeback), and I don’t think we were doing it selfishly,” Fox said. “I think we were trying to help the team, but I think we force things sometimes, trying to do a little too much.”

The Raiders were led by sophomore guard Ryel Daye as he went on a tear scoring a season and career high, 34 points and 19 rebounds. Redshirt-sophomore guard Andrew Moore followed up Daye’s impressive performance with 19 points, three rebounds, and three blocks. Redshirt-freshman forward Nyuon Nhial had himself a decent night off the bench collecting 10 rebounds along with nine points. Freshman guard Rico Wade came in late off the bench and tried to push the Raiders to a late-game comeback by hitting three late threes but that would be all he wrote as he would finish the game with nine points.

The Raiders continue conference action this Saturday, Jan. 22 as they travel to Texas Township to face off against Kalamazoo Valley Community College. The tip-off is at 3 p.m.

“It’s the fun thing about the league right now,” Fox said. “It’s an absolute gauntlet. KVCC is playing great. They’re 4-1 in conference play and 12-4 overall.”

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