Sally Merrill matched her career-high of 27 points to lead the Grand Rapids Community College women’s basketball team to a gritty, 71-61 win at Delta College.
The men’s team snapped a three-game winning streak, losing in overtime 91-81.
GRCC’s women’s team jumped out to a 23-7 first quarter lead and seemed to be in control. But the Pioneers fought back from a 22-point deficit to make it just a three-point game with just 30 seconds remaining.
Delta was forced to foul and it nearly worked out to perfection. But after GRCC missed both free throws, Delta called a time out it didn’t have, resulting in a technical foul.
Merrill knocked down both technical free throws to seal the victory for GRCC, which has won two in a row and improved to 10-6 overall, and 4-2 in the conference.
Head coach David Glazier was extremely proud of the way his players executed the game plan and was happy to see their hard work pay off in a big game.
“Can’t say enough about how this group battles together in the high and low moments throughout a game,” Glazier said.
Merrill added seven rebounds and a career-high six steals, playing in all 40 minutes.
Allison Kellogg and Grace Lodes both nearly had double-doubles with 12 points, nine rebounds for Kellogg and 11 points, eight rebounds for Lodes.
The men’s game was within three points nearly the entire game and each team had a chance to win in regulation. But GRCC missed a free throw and Delta’s three-point attempt was blocked as time expired.
In the extra session GRCC was out-scored 16-6, and falls to 14-5 overall and 3-3 in the conference after the loss.
“It’s really hard to win on the road in this league, and it’s even harder when you don’t make free throws down the stretch,” head coach Joe Fox said. “It’s always tough to lose games you have a chance to win, especially on the road. We just have to pick ourselves up and be ready for Saturday.”
Saginaw native Danyel Bibbs put up some big stats in his return home, scoring a team-high 22 points, grabbing a team-high nine rebounds and led the team in assists and steals with five and four.
Bashir Neely totaled 16 points and Brockton Kohler and Herman Brown added 14 and 11.
Both teams will be back at home on Feb. 4 to take on North Central College. The women will tip-off first at 1 p.m.