The Grand Rapids Community College women’s basketball team lost to Muskegon Community College, 58-45, dropping to fourth place in a competitive Michigan Community College Athletic Association Western Conference.
Even with the loss, GRCC head coach David Glazier was proud of the Raiders’ consistent fight and the team’s overall performance.
“Our kids fight,” Glazier said. “…They probably could’ve hung their heads early, they went down 9-0 real quick, but as (has) been the case all year, they fought. I don’t think I could be prouder of a group than I was tonight of the performance. You know obviously, we lost and that’s not what we wanted, but it’s a heck of a push, and I was happy to be a part of it.”
The Raiders were led by freshman guard Marlene Bussler who had 20 points and eight rebounds. Bussler was electric from the 3-point line, hitting four 3-pointers and scoring 18 in the first half.
The Raiders saw a big contribution in the paint from freshman forward Grace Lodes who ended the night with another double-double, scoring 10 points along with securing 15 rebounds and an outstanding nine blocks.
“The kid is a monster,” Glazier said. “It allows the kids that are guarding out on the perimeter to go a little harder and maybe put in a little more pressure with the understanding that they have a kid like Grace out there that’s got their back, so it’s huge for us.”
The Jayhawks came out firing, scoring nine unanswered points to start the game, which created an early deficit for the Raiders. Following a Raiders timeout, the Raiders found some momentum, hitting back-to-back 3-pointers to cut the lead down to two, 11-9. The Jayhawks would hang on to their lead throughout the quarter and go into the second with a 15-10 lead.
Bussler started the second quarter with a big 3-pointer to cut the Jayhawks lead to two. The Jayhawks were able to string some buckets to maintain their lead, but it was all about Bussler from then on as she would score all of the Raiders eight points to start the quarter. Bussler then hit a baseline jumper to tie the game at 25 at the end of the quarter.
The Jayhawks repeated their success at the start of the game to the start of the second half, going on a 10-0 run to go up 35-25. The Raiders didn’t let up and went on their own 9-0 run to put them back within three, 39-36. The Jayhawks were able to end the third quarter strong, taking a comfortable lead, 44-36.
The Jayhawks were able to maintain their lead throughout the fourth quarter, handing the Raiders only their third loss in conference play.
The Raiders will look to bounce back when they return home to face off against Kalamazoo Valley Community College on Saturday, Feb. 19 at 1 p.m.
“It’s going to be a challenge,” Glazier said. “They’re playing well. They got a (player) that averages like 25 a game… We are going to have to come prepared and have our focus, and I think if tonight is any sort of precursor to that, I think we will be ready.”