The Great Lakes Christian College Crusaders Men's Basketball program was able to to earn their first win of the season but it was not without a fight. The Crusaders took on NCCAA Mideast region opponent Boyce College Bulldogs in Grand Rapids on the campus of Grace Christian University. The Bulldogs were eager to kick their season off with GLCC as their first game of the year. The Bulldogs jumped out on the Crusaders early building a steady lead as large as 13 in the first half. AJ Caldwell led Boyce with 19 first half points including 5/7 from three. The Crusaders were able to cut the 13 point deficit to five before Caldwell hit a three at the end of the first half to push the Bulldog lead to eight at the break. The Boyce Bulldogs shot a red hot 65 percent from the floor while the Crusaders shot 44 percent from the floor.
In the second half the Crusaders came out of their press and went changed to a zone defense which gave the Bulldogs problems offensively and threw off their hot shooting. The Bulldogs were able to build their lead to as much as 13 again, but the Crusaders refused to be denied. Isiah Reed led the charge for the Crusaders hitting three straight threes to give the Crusaders the lead for the first time with 9 minutes to go. Reed stayed hot for the game scoring 24 points shooting 8/11 from three. Over the next four minutes the Bulldogs and Crusaders would battle back and forth until Ethen Russell made a pair of free throws to give GLCC the lead for good. Quincy Green score 9 of his 20 points in the last 4 minutes to close the game out for the Crusaders. Green also grabbed 8 rebounds, dished out 3 assists, and had 3 steals. Ja'Quin Jones had good all around game of 12 points 7 rebounds and 6 assists.
Inside the Box Score:
- Crusaders shot a season high 48% from the field including hitting 13 three point field goals
- Isiah Reed led all scorers with 24 points but also grabbed 8 rebounds and dished out 5 assists on the evening
- Ethen Russell scored a career high 11 points, Russell is also shooting a team high 93% from the Free throw line
- The Crusaders had 23 assists on 34 field goals, while only committing 11 turnovers
- After allowing 53 first half points the Crusaders clamped down on the Bulldogs for only 34 points in the second half
- This is Coach Westerlund's first win as the Head Coach at Great Lakes Christian College
What Coach Says:
"It was an ugly first win for us. I thought Boyce clearly had more energy and wanted it more than us in the first half. We were fortunate to be in the game after the first half with how well they shot it. I thought our guys did a good job out of the half to come in and play with more energy and really lock in defensively. Our zone did a good job throwing off their rhythm offensively. Obviously were a much better team when we are hitting shots. Jay has been very consistent for us so far this season, but to get the production from Zae and Q like we did tonight is a game changer for us. We have so many weapons offensively and to see those guys play well I was really happy for them. They have been working hard and they've earned it tonight." On Ethen Russell, "E has been really solid for us. As a freshman point guard he is doing the the things I have asked him to do which are: take care of the ball, make free throws, and be our best defender. I was really happy for him to have his best night of his young college career as well." On what made the offense click, "I don't think there was any magic to it, I tried to tell the guys to go have fun and just let it fly. I think they played with more freedom tonight offensively which was nice to see. We are going to be able to win a lot of ball games scoring 98 points, but we obviously need to get back on track defensively tomorrow."
Men's Basketball will take on Welch College tomorrow, Saturday, November 3rd at Grace Christian University for another NCCAA Mideast Region game. Tip off is scheduled for 12:00pm.