UNIVERSITY CENTER, Mich.- The Saginaw Valley State men's basketball team returned to the court on Saturday night to square-off with GLIAC North opponent in Grand Valley State at O'Neill Arena. The Cardinals shot 46.4% in the second half and grabbed a season-best 48 rebounds as they posted a 64-42 victory over the Lakers.
Saginaw Valley would strike first in the contest, getting points from C.J. Turnage as he knocked down a jumper. GVSU then scored on its first possession to tie the game for the first time. The Cardinals then went on a 7-2 scoring run to push its lead up to 9-4 at the 16:59 mark. The five-point Cardinal advantage would be short-lived, as GVSU would use a 6-0 run of its own to grab its first and only lead of the game with 14:23 left in the first half.
The Cardinals would begin to pull away with the game after the first media timeout. SVSU re-gained the lead as Garrett Hall made good on a jumper for his first points of the game. The Hall jumper sparked the Cardinals to set the pace for the remainder half thanks to a 10-2 scoring run. The run lasted for six minutes of play and saw SVSU with a 21-12 lead on the Lakers with 8:24 left to play.
Grand Valley quickly responded with seven unanswered points to make the game a one possession result. A 21-19 score stood briefly as Malik Garner would toss the ball upcourt to Hall, who would draw contact while making his layup and completed the three-point play.
A free throw from Wade Gelhaus with 1:40 remaining gave the Cardinals a 25-19 lead. The Cardinals then locked in defensively and kept the game at a six-point cushion heading into the locker room for halftime.
Saginaw Valley would begin the second half by scoring seven straight points on Grand Valley and extended its lead to 32-19 at the 15:57 mark in the second half. The Cardinals would then hold the Lakers to just 1-of-16 shooting in the next 6:30 of play, allowing the offense to settle in and expand the lead to 49-22 just after the under-10 media stoppage.
The Cardinals' advantage stayed at or above 25 points for most of the second half. SVSU and GVSU then began to trade baskets with 5:38 left to go that pushed the score to 57-30. A layup from Devin Dixon and a pair of free throw makes from Jake Daniels pushed the Cardinals' edge over the 30-point mark. The Lakers cut the Cardinal lead down to 63-37 as both teams approached the final media timeout.
Approaching the final 2:38 of the contest, SVSU would send Wade Gelhaus to the stripe, where he would split a pair of three throws. The Lakers then rattled off five straight points that would cut the SVSU lead down to 64-42.With just 1:28 left to go, Saginaw Valley would kill time on the clock before giving the ball back to Grand Valley with 28 seconds left.
The Cardinals would not score a point in the final 2:38 of the contest but held on to defeat Grand Valley, 64-42 to split the season series with the Lakers and pull to within two games of the final wild card spot for a berth in the GLIAC tournament.
From Head Coach Randy Baruth
Inside the Boxscore
- Devin Dixon pulled in a career-high 13 rebounds while chipping in offensively with 8 points and a steal in the win over GVSU. The junior forward was named the Meijer "Player of the Game".
- Garrett Hall scored a game-high 17 points on 6-of-11 shooting while grabbing three rebounds in 25 minutes off the bench for SVSU.
- C.J. Turnage recorded 10 points while also adding up two steals and a block.
- Saginaw Valley shot 46.4% from the field in the 2nd half which aided in the 22-point victory over the Lakers.
- The Cardinals also pulled in a season-best 48 rebounds in the contest, with 13 of the boards coming on the offensive glass.
- SVSU also outscored GVSU 26-20 in points in the paint while leading the way in bench points by a margin of 37-17.
The Cardinals hit the road for three games against the GLIAC North in the Upper Peninsula. SVSU will face-off with the Northern Michigan Wildcats Thursday night in Marquette. Game time is set for 8:00 p.m. NMU defeated SVSU, 82-76 in the team's first meeting of the season back on Jan. 12 at O'Neill Arena.
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