The Grand Rapids Community College men’s basketball team faced SWMC on Saturday, Jan. 7, and suffered its first loss of the season by a score of 68-67.
The Raiders were still without one of their best leaders, sophomore Brockton Kohler, who was finishing his four game suspension.
The pace of the game throughout was slower than usual for the Raiders as the Roadrunners ran a methodical half-court offense.
“They play at a slower pace, and eat up the shot clock with their offensive possessions,” head coach Joe Fox said. “That naturally limits the number of possessions you get in the game, so our offensive total was lower than normal. They also played very good defense as a team.”
With it being a slower paced game, every possession counted for GRCC which put some pressure on the Raiders offense. Throughout the first half, there were 10 lead changes but the Raiders controlled a small lead 36-35 at the end of the half.
Southwestern Michigan College’s slow pace showed in the second half as it took both teams multiple minutes to score the first points of the half. Similar to the first half, GRCC and SWMC went back-and-forth maintaining a lead, with six lead changes and 10 ties throughout the half. The Raiders continued to fight even when they trailed by four with three minutes remaining in the game. With one minute remaining, the game was tied at 66 when SWMC nailed two free throws to ice the game. Sophomore Herman Brown had a chance at the end to tie the game with a free throw but missed, which led to a Roadrunner victory.
Although the Raiders lost, multiple players scored in double figures. Freshman Jajuan Walker had an impressive all-around game with 12 points, four assists, and two rebounds. Sophomore’s Chris Coleman and Isaac Warning made their impact known throughout the game. Coleman finished with 12 points and four rebounds and Warning added a team-high eight rebounds along with eight points.
“Isaac Warning played very well today especially on the glass as he led the team in rebounds,” Fox said. “Jajuan Walker and Chris Coleman also had strong games.”
The Raiders now sit at an 11-1 record and they cannot dwell on the loss for long as they will face one of the best teams in the conference when GRCC travels to Lansing on Wednesday, Jan. 11, to take on the Lansing Community College Stars at 7:30 p.m.
Coach Fox is ready for the challenge and is aware LCC is coming into this game with revenge on their mind.
“Lansing is always a fun game, so the guys will be ready for that one,” Fox said. “We will regroup, look at the positives and negatives, and get a game plan together. It was tough to lose a nail biter but we will be ready for Wednesday.”