By Shane Madden
A shorthanded Grand Rapids Community College women’s basketball team fell to the Jackson College Jets, 70-50, Thursday, Jan. 13. The Raiders are now 5-7 overall and 1-1 in conference play.
The Raiders battled hard throughout against a talented Jackson College squad but struggled to find a rhythm on the offensive end, shooting just 30% from the field.
Freshman guards Sally Merrill and Alysia Wesley led the team in scoring with 14 and 10, respectively. Freshman guard Marlene Bussler added eight points and hustled her way to nine rebounds.
“Marlene did a nice job defensively,” said GRCC head coach David Glazier. “Almost had a double-double, and always gets matched up with one of the (opponents) best players defensively. Having to bring that much energy on the defensive end, then trying to spark us on offense at the other end is a tough job”.
Like every team this year, the Raiders felt the pressure of absent players. Missing the presence of three forwards, including star forward Grace Lodes, they struggled to secure rebounds and keep the Jets offense out of the paint. The Raiders managed to stay within striking distance early, heading into halftime down 27-22. The Jets came out looking to attack the basket, which they did efficiently to the tune of 42%.
GRCC managed to keep pace for three tough-fought quarters, but Jackson College pulled away in the fourth, outscoring the Raiders 21-12.
After the tough loss, the Raiders will look to bounce back against another conference opponent, Lansing Community College, Saturday, Jan. 15 at 1 p.m. at the Gordon Hunsberger Arena.