By Jackson Heiden
The Grand Rapids Community College men’s basketball team took the lead right off the tip and never looked back as they cruised by Lake Michigan College 73-61.
The Raiders were led by sophomore guard Ryel Daye Monday night as he had a season-high in rebounds and steals. Daye played all 40 minutes while accumulating 22 points and 22 rebounds while stealing four. After tonight’s game, Daye has now averaged 25 points in his last three games.
“He did a great job,” said GRCC’s head coach Joe Fox. “Sophomores want to get into the second half (of the game) and they’re taking leadership roles and driving (with it) and they’re doing a great job.”
The Raiders started the game by pressing and then slowly building up pressure as the half went on. They slowed the Red Hawks down and that gave way for the Raiders to get going offensively. The Raiders ended the first half with momentum, 39-31.
“We wanted to focus on changing up the little things,” Fox said. “A couple of things in our coverages, making sure to not get too comfortable on anything. We varied our defenses a little bit and the guys did a great job.”
The Raiders had a great start coming off the break jumping out to a 13-point lead. The Red Hawks began pressuring the ball which resulted in the Raiders slowing down offensively. The Red Hawks used this to their advantage and pulled within two making it 53-51. Following the Red Hawks coming back to make it close, the Raiders went back and started doing what got them the lead in the first place, putting pressure on the ball and being aggressive in the paint.
Redshirt-freshman guard Brockton Kohler followed up Daye’s impressive performance with a nice evening scoring 13 points along with seven rebounds. Redshirt-freshman guard Danyel Bibbs didn’t have himself a huge scoring night but helped his teammates to six assists along with eight points. Redshirt-freshman guard Justus Clark scored eight while redshirt-freshman Nyuon Nhial scored nine along with eight rebounds and two blocks. Redshirt-sophomore guard Andrew Moore didn’t have the biggest impact but still had a decent evening as he scored 10.
The Raiders look to make it two in a row as they return to Gordon Hunsberger Arena to take on Ancilla College this Wednesday, Jan. 26 at 5:30 p.m.
“There’s no break (in this) league,” Fox said. “We just have to keep building momentum that we got from tonight’s game and keep executing on Wednesday. We have to be ready to run at a very fast pace.”