By Caitlin Phelan
Grand Rapids Community College women’s basketball team fell to conference rival Delta College in the last game of the regular season, 75-68 in a contested matchup. The game was a battle for sole possession of second place in conference standings, and took place at Ford Fieldhouse on Thursday, March 2. The Raiders now drop to 16-8 on the season and 10-4 in conference play after the loss.
The Raider women played tough, in what was a back and forth game, with GRCC leading at the end of the first quarter, 16-15. The game changed after the second quarter however, with Delta College going on a 21-5 run, outscoring the Raiders 28-11 in the quarter. That 21-5 run ultimately made the difference in the game.
Delta College’s offense was clicking on all cylinders, with four of their starters scoring in double digits, and finishing the night shooting a staggering 50% from behind the 3-point line.
When asked about Delta College’s impressive offensive performance, head coach David Glazier said, “I thought Delta played very well last night, they deserved to win the game.”
The Raiders were led by sophomore guard Sally Merrill, who set a new career-high for herself, scoring 31 points. Merrill also recorded seven rebounds, one block, and one steal in the Raider’s losing effort.
Merrill surpassed her previous career-high of 30 points which she set in the Raider’s previous game against Kirtland Community College.
“Sally Merrill continues to produce consistently for us offensively which is a valuable commodity come tournament time.” Glazier said.
Despite the tough loss, there were also some bright spots for the Raiders as they set their sights on the postseason. GRCC had fewer turnovers and more steals and assists than Delta College.
Talking about heading into the postseason, Glazier said, “The message to the team is simply that we are battle tested, so preparation will be our ally only if all of us are able to leave Thursday night in the past and focus on beating Muskegon as a team.”
The Raiders will travel to Muskegon Community College to face their rival for the third time this season. MCC will host GRCC on Tuesday, March 7 in the first round of the playoffs. The Raiders split the regular season matchups with MCC, with each team going 1-1. If the Raider women win, they will advance to the semi-finals which will take place later in the week on Thursday, March 9 at Mott Community College.