For the first time in the 2016-17 season, the Saginaw Valley men’s basketball team has been absent from the NCAA Division II basketball rankings. Coming off of four straight losses, the struggles continued last week, as the team fell to Ferris State on Thursday followed by a loss to GVSU on Saturday.
Saturday, Jake Daniels, the single game three-point record holder for SVSU, got his first start of the season. Caleb Davis came off of the bench.
SVSU began the game shooting 1-12 from the field. Meanwhile, the Lakers jumped out to a 18-5 lead early.
All of a sudden, the Cardinals seemed to find their offense – attacking the basket with force and earning chances at the line. With eight minutes left, SVSU had closed the gap to 20-12.
Saginaw Valley brought the game even closer, 24-22, after CJ Turnage attacked the basket for his fifth and sixth points of the game.
Turnage found success at the defensive end as well, with an emphatic block that led to a breakaway layup from Mike Wells. With a minute and a half left to play in the half, the Cardinals, led by their tough defense, tied the game 28-28.
SVSU, down by one with 10 seconds remaining in the half, had a chance at the lead. After a defensive rebound, Hall had a chance at a three-point shot but was fouled and sent to the line. He hit all three to give the first Saginaw Valley lead at the halftime mark, 32-30.
Turnage and Hall both had eight points in the first half, while Trevin Alexander led the way for the Lakers with 15.
The first two minutes of the second half were an offensive battle, with both teams exchanging baskets until the score read 36-36.
SVSU found it hard to keep the offense going, however, opening up an 8-0 run for Grand Valley.
After a timeout with 15 minutes to go, the Cardinals had enough of the Laker run. They locked down the paint, forcing two turnovers, and hit three consecutive shots from behind the arc to retake the lead 45-44.
Again, Grand Valley wouldn’t let the SVSU lead get too large, taking back a 53-47 lead with just over 10 minutes left to play.
SVSU looked to come back in the final two minutes and cut the lead to 67-63. But Alexander hit a clutch shot from distance that gave the Lakers a comfortable lead.
Juwan Starks found another Grand Valley three that put the game out of reach for the Cardinals, who lost 80-71.
Alexander led both teams in scoring with 25. Meanwhile, Turnage found 17 for Saginaw Valley.
“We just have to come out better in our games,” Wells said. “We need to continue to grow, learn from this one and come out stronger next week.”
Next week, the Cardinals (11-7, 4-7 in GLIAC play) welcome Lake Superior State to O’Neill Arena on Thursday night before taking on rival Northwood in Midland on Saturday.