The Grand Rapids Community College men’s basketball team lost to Kalamazoo Valley Community College, 91-80, on Saturday, Feb.19, suffering their fifth-straight loss. The Raiders are now 9-18 overall and 4-12 in conference play.
“The team played hard,” said GRCC head coach Joe Fox. “I was proud of their effort and most importantly their attitude. I was disappointed in the outcome, but the team had consistently brought effort all year.”
The Raiders were led by redshirt-sophomore guard Andrew Moore, who had 25 points along with three rebounds and two assists. Redshirt-sophomore Ryel Daye secured another double-double with 16 points and 12 rebounds.
“The two sophomores have been great all year,” Fox said. “Those guys are really talented, and have taught our freshmen a lot this year. They’ve been a joy to coach.”
The Raiders found themselves down early when the Cougars put together a few runs to pull ahead 18-5. The Raiders fought back, getting within five, 25-20, but the comeback was erased as the Cougars went on a couple small runs to pull back ahead by double-digits. The Cougars kept a consistent lead throughout the rest of the half, sending the Raiders into the locker room down 47-38.
“At halftime, we talked about the little things,” Fox said. “We’ve been hanging with the top teams all year, and it always comes down to one or two little things that decide close games. We need to be able to lock in on those little things.”
Throughout the beginning stages of the second half, the Cougars continued to keep their comfortable lead, but a full team effort from the Raiders put them back into the game with eight minutes to play. The Raiders cut their nine-point deficit down to three, 67-64. The Raiders kept it close until the final minutes, when the Cougars hit some timely shots to pull away, winning 91-80.
With the loss, the Raiders postseason chances are slim as the regular season comes to a close in the next week.
“The goals at this level are always based on the future,” Fox said. “We need to have our freshmen finish strong to build toward the off-season, and our sophomores to finish well as they look to plan for next year.”
The Raiders will play their final home game of the regular season as they face off against Lake Michigan College on Monday, Feb. 21 starting at 7:30 p.m. at the Gordon Hunsberger Arena.
“Lake Michigan College has been playing great,” Fox said. “They’re shooting the ball well and have great length. To be successful, we need to focus on disrupting their offensive flow and bring effort on both ends.”