Home Featured News Raiders pull away from Muskegon Community College 83-74

Raiders pull away from Muskegon Community College 83-74

GRCC men's basketball going into the second half vs. Bay College (Alena Visnovsky/The Collegiate).

After a crucial win against Alpena Community College on Saturday, the Raiders men’s basketball team traveled to Muskegon on Wednesday, Jan. 25, and pulled out a nail-bitter against the Jayhawks 

Head coach of the Grand Rapids Community College men’s basketball team, Joe Fox, expressed how tough Muskegon is to beat. 

“Muskegon is very talented, especially at the guard spot,” Fox said. “They have shooters that can really heat up quickly if you give them space.” 

Sophomore Danyel Bibbs showed his ability to attack the opposing defense as he scored or assisted on the Raiders first three buckets.  GRCC went back and forth with the Jayhawks, as Bibbs and sophomore Chris Coleman combined for the first 14 points, to put the score at 14 all. 

Coleman stayed ready for the moment and played a key role against  Muskegon in Wednesday’s game. 

“My trust in the work I put in the gym allowed me to shoot efficiently,” Coleman said. “My teammates made great looks and allowed me to get to my spots easily.”

For the next eight minutes, each team spent increments of time with the lead before the other team stormed back. With 6:25 remaining in the first half, the Raiders led 26-25. They went on a 7-2 run, but Muskegon answered back and the Jayhawks hit a bucket with 25 seconds left to take a 41-40 lead at halftime. 

To start the second half, sophomore center Isaac Warning scored the first five points for the Raiders and set the tone for the rest of the game. No team led by more than four points for the first nine minutes, as both teams continued to hit shots down the stretch. With 12 minutes left, the Raiders trailed by two, but went on a timely 6-0 run to gain the momentum for the Raiders. 

“In the last 12 minutes, I thought we really executed the defensive gameplan and rebounded well on both ends,” Fox said. 

The Jayhawks fought back and took the lead with six minutes, but the Raiders closed the game on a 13-4 run to win the game 83-74. 

Bibbs led the way offensively for the Raiders with 22 points, eight rebounds, and four assists. He credited his teammates and the specific day for his excellent performance. 

“Having teammates that can hit shots opens up the floor for me,” Bibbs said. “I had to pick my spots and it worked out for me. I knew we were in a dog fight on the road so bringing the energy first was important. Plus, it was my birthday so today was truly a blessing.”

One player that was hitting shots was Coleman, who ended the game with 16 points and six rebounds while shooting over 50% from the field. Isaac Warning dominated the paint with a near double-double, scoring 14 points, grabbing nine rebounds, and dishing out two assists. Sophomore Herman Brown also had a near double-double as he had eight points and nine rebounds. 

With another win, the Raiders improve to 13-4 on the season and 2-2 in conference play. Coach Fox believes the practices in the past weeks have prepared the team for the rest of conference play. 

“We had some great practices, so it’s been good to see it translate to the court,” Fox said. “We finish out January with three games on the road so it’s good to go out and get a win on the first one. It is a lot to build on. 

GRCC travels to Roscommon on Saturday, Jan.28, to face Kirtland Community College at 3 p.m. 

Chris Coleman says the team’s mentality is to build on the win while improving on a daily basis. 

“The team’s mentality is to continue to stay present and bring energy, enthusiasm, and effort,” Coleman said. “We are working everyday to stay together and play for each other.”

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