The SVSU men’s basketball team picked up its first win of the season last week against Olivet College, before falling to Lewis University to round out its weekend.
In their home opener on Wednesday, Nov. 15, the Cardinals topped Olivet 79-67. SVSU held the advantage early in the first half, as a three-pointer by sophomore guard Jake Daniels followed by a transition layup by sophomore guard Malik Garner put SVSU ahead of the Comets 27-21.
However, Olivet rounded out the half on an 18-6 run to take a halftime lead 39-33.
At the half, scoring leaders were Daniels with eight points and seniors Mike Wells Jr. and Richie Roberts, each adding six.
The beginning of the second half was similar to much of the first half, with the teams trading buckets.
However, SVSU began to pull away in the middle of the second half, outscoring Olivet 46-28 over the final 20 minutes en route to a 79-67 win.
Daniels finished the game with 17 points to pace the Cardinals and was 3-4 from beyond the arc. He also added three offensive rebounds.
“I locked in defensively,” he said. “I especially worked on the little things. In the first half, the offense was dead, the defense was dead and our energy was dead. I needed to step it up, and I did.”
Freshman guard DJ Hoskins also added seven points, five rebounds, five assists, and five steals coming off the SVSU bench.
“We non-stop have to keep grinding,” Hoskins said. “SVSU is blue collar or hard-nosed, and we will never stop grinding. It felt great to play in my first college home game and my first college game period.”
Later in the week, SVSU lost to Lewis 80-47 on Saturday, Nov. 18.
Hoskins had a team-high 11 points coming off the bench and added two rebounds and two steals.
Another freshman, James Toohey, added 10 points along with three rebounds.
Following the loss, head coach Randy Baruth said the team needs its older players to step up into leadership roles.
“This group needs somebody to step up and be a leader,” Baruth said. “They also need to learn to compete. Being a part of Saginaw Valley in any way is an earned honor, not an automatic right.”
The Flyers led SVSU for much of the game, taking a 36-23 lead into halftime. Lewis extended its lead from there in the second half to round out the dominant 33-point victory, outscoring SVSU 44-24 in the second half. The win bumped the Flyers’ record to 2-2 on the young season.
After falling to 1-3, Saginaw Valley will face off against 4-5 Grace Bible at home on Wednesday, Nov. 22. Tipoff is set for 7 p.m. SVSU will also take on 3-2 Hillsdale College on Sunday, Nov. 26, to open GLIAC conference play. That contest, also at home, will tip off at 3 p.m.