GRCC women’s basketball team keeps conference championship hopes alive

Grace Lodes making a basket.

Grand Rapids Community College’s women’s basketball team kept its conference championship chances alive with a 68-60 victory over the visitors from Kalamazoo Valley Community College. The GRCC’s men’s team made a great second half comeback, but fell just short, 91-80.

Sally Merrill tied a career-high with 15 rebounds to go with her team-high 20 points for the women’s team. 

GRCC, one of the best rebounding teams in the Michigan Community College Athletic Association, out rebounded the Cougars 54-42, and had a staggering 21-3 advantage in second chance points.

Grace Lodes put up triple-double-like numbers for the second consecutive game with 10 points, eight rebounds and seven points. Karissa Ferry had seven points and eight rebounds while point guard Marlene Bussler added 15 points and seven rebounds.

“Proud of our kids again finding a way to win when we were challenged,” Coach David Glazier said. “Credit to Kalamazoo Valley. That group is playing well and it understands its roles. It was a quality, late season MCCAA Western Conference win that was important to get.”

GRCC improved to 16-9 overall and stayed in second place in the conference with a 12-3 record.  The Cougars dropped to 5-16 overall and 5-11 in conference play.

KVCC’s men’s team jumped out to a 14-point lead and never looked back despite a valiant effort down the stretch by the Raiders. 

“Great effort from our sophomores to help us go toe to toe with one of the top teams in the conference,” Coach Joe Fox said. “These games are great learning experiences for our young guys, but we have to be able to do the little things down the stretch. Looking forward to celebrating our sophomores on Monday night, who have been great representatives of GRCC on and off the court.”

Andrew Moore, one of the league’s top scorers, connected on three free throws with four minutes left, making it just a two-point deficit. But that was as close as his team would get.

Moore scored 25 points on 9 of 16 from the floor and 6 of 8 from the free throw line.

Ryel Daye played all 40 minutes, finishing with 16 points and a team-high 12 rebounds.  Nyuon Nhial was nearly perfect from the floor, going 7 of 8, scoring 16 points, but was limited by foul trouble and played just 19 minutes.

The men’s team’s record drops to 9-18 overall, 4-12 in the conference. KVCC improved to 21-7 and 12-4. 

GRCC will have just one day off before hitting the hardwood at Hunsberger Arena again on Feb. 21 against Lake Michigan College. This will be the regular season finale for both teams.  

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