UNIVERSITY CENTER - Mich., The Saginaw Valley men's basketball team suffered a tough defeat today (Jan. 10) against Lake Superior State University in a Great Lakes Intercollegiate Athletic Conference (GLIAC) contest by a score of 70-60. With the loss, the Cardinals fall to 6-5 overall and 4-4 in the conference, while the Lakers improve to 8-4 and 6-3 in GLIAC play.
Saginaw Valley got off to a quick start forcing two turnovers and getting a pair of three pointers by Brett Beland (Menominee, Mich. / Menominee HS) to go up 12-4 with 13:52 left to play in the first half. Beland finished the contest with a team-high 13 points.
The Cardinals would benefit from strong bench play as back-to-back buckets by "Meijer Player of the Game" Sterling Johnson (Detroit, Mich. / De La Salle HS) and Mike Schaaf (Saginaw, Mich. / Arthur Hill HS) gave SVSU their biggest lead of the opening half at 17-8 with 12:19 remaining. Schaaf had a strong performance contributing eight points in the game.
However, missed free throws and turnovers by the Cardinals allowed the Lakers to go on a run to end the first half, which put SVSU at a 35-26 deficit entering the halftime intermission.
For the half, Saginaw Valley shot just 25 percent (1-of-4) from the stripe, while Lake Superior went 10-for-12 (83 percent). The Cardinals also committed six more turnovers (12) than the Lakers, which resulted in 16 points for Lake Superior.
Saginaw Valley opened the second half strong and cut the lead to 36-32 with 16:33 left in the contest after consecutive layups by Jay Thames (Port Huron, Mich. / Port Huron Northern HS) and a jump shot by Mike Schaaf. Thames finished with a team-high eight rebounds to go with six points.
Both teams battled for the next ten minutes with the Cardinals trimming the lead to 49-46 on a pair of free throws by Rob Clark (Saginaw, Mich. / Saginaw HS) with 7:07 remaining in the contest. The lead remained three (56-53) after a pair of free throws by Sterling Johnson with to 3:53 play.
A Chris Webb (Saginaw, Mich. / Arthur Hill HS) drive and pull up five-footer pulled the Cardinals within one (56-55) with 3:28 left in the game. However, Saginaw Valley could not get defensive stops down the stretch and ultimately fell to the Lakers, 70-60.
For the game, SVSU was unable to keep Lake Superior out of the paint and was outscored by a 36-20 margin. The Cardinals also turned the ball over seven more times than the Lakers (18-11), which resulted in a points off turnover deficit of 20-14.
SVSU received a strong performance from Rob Clark who had six points and pulled down seven rebounds. Chris Webb also chipped in eight points, three rebounds and three assists.
The Saginaw Valley men's basketball team returns to the hardwood on Saturday (Jan. 12) for a road game against Wayne State University. Tip is scheduled for 1:00 PM in Detroit.