GVSU Women's Basketball completes comeback to advance in Midwest Regional

GVSU wbb
Posted at 10:58 PM, Mar 10, 2023
and last updated 2023-03-11 10:50:32-05

ASHLAND, Ohio — Survive and advance, that is what March basketball is all about. And that is what the GVSU women's basketball team did this afternoon. Facing a double-digit second-half deficit, the Lakers staged a fourth quarter comeback to tie the game, and eventually come away with an 81-77 win in overtime.

GVSU got out to a 5-2 lead after Hadley Miller buried a three early in the first quarter. Kentucky Wesleyan answered back ending the quarter on a 15-6 run, getting hot from distance, making three three-pointers the rest of the way to take a 27-18 lead after one.

GV cut it within six to open second quarter, after Paige Vanstee hit and and-1 layup. After the Panthers brought it back up to 10, the Lakers answered back with a layup from Rylie Bisballe, a triple from Emily Spitzley, and two free throws from Ellie Droste to bring it within three at 31-28. KWC came right back and hit back-to-back-to-back threes to go up by 12 in flash. The Lakers cut into the lead a little bit before the break, but still trailed 44-34 at halftime.

The third quarter was back-and-forth, with Wesleyan maintaining their double-digit lead throughout much of the quarter. The Lakers mounted a late 4-0 run to close the period, making it 55-47 Wesleyan after three.

GVSU opened the fourth quarter on an 11-5 run, as they established their inside game, as Droste, Bisballe, Paige Vanstee, and Nicole Kamin all made layups. Kamin then closed out the run as she hit an and-1 jumper that cut it to 60-58 with 4:33 remaining. The Panthers brought the lead up to six with just over three minutes left. Ellie Droste hit a three to bring the deficit within three with two minutes left. The Lakers were able to get some stops and Droste hit a jumper with 30 seconds left to tie the game at 68. Both teams had chances to win late, but the defenses held and sent the game into overtime.

The Lakers started the overtime period on a 5-0 run, capped off by a Spitzley and-1. The Panthers came back and tied the game at 73 with 1:14 left. Droste got the lead back for GV with another jumper and from there she hit six free throws to ice the game and move the Lakers on to the semifinals.

Ellie Droste was key to the Lakers comeback, scoring 25 points, hitting 4-6 from the field and 16 free throws, scoring 15 points in the fourth quarter and overtime. Droste also pulled down five rebounds and blocked two shots. Rylie Bisballedominated the second half, scoring 11 of her 17 points after halftime, while grabbing eight rebounds. Nicole Kaminscored 10 points and dished out five assists. The Laker defense forced 21 Panther turnovers, blocked seven shots, and held Kentucky Wesleyan to just 33% shooting in the second half.


GVSU advances to the Midwest Regional semifinals where they will play the Drury Lady Panthers. The game will be played tomorrow night at 5:00pm.