Saginaw Valley’s men’s basketball team ended its season in 12th place in the Great Lakes Intercollegiate Conference, finishing with a record of 5-12.
SVSU finished the regular season losing six of its last seven games, and with four canceled games due to COVID-19. Two of those games were the Cardinals’ final scheduled regular season games against Davenport.
These cancellations led to a 10 day break for the Cardinals between their last game of the season and their first round playoff games against seventh-seeded Parkside, who had beaten the Cardinals in their previous two matchups.
After falling behind 38-33 at the half, SVSU was able to score 44 in the second half to pull off the upset.
Senior guard Delano Smith led the Cardinals in points with 32, and rebounds with nine during the game. Smith was on the floor for 39 minutes and shot 12-20 from the field.
Junior guard Myles Belyeu led SVSU with four assists and was able to add 24 points of his own to help SVSU defeat Parkside.
Cardinals head coach Randy Baruth said he believes his team wanted the win more.
“We had the same mentality tonight that we have had all year,” Baruth said. “The big difference tonight was we got more stops and we played grittier.”
SVSU moved on to the GLIAC quarterfinals, where they played number one seeded Wayne State, who also had beaten SVSU in their two matchups this season.
Saginaw Valley started out hot in the game and carried an eight point lead into halftime. In the second half the Cardinals got even hotter, scoring 40 points to help them finish with a 76-74 win.
Belyeu led the Cardinals with 35 points and had five rebounds in the game.
Smith had four assists and six rebounds, both of which were the most for the Cardinals; Smith was also able to add 16 points.
Coach Baruth said he knew his team was playing like they should have been all season.
“We are taking the same shots now that we have been, but they are just going in,” he said.
Belyeu said he was glad his team could build their confidence.
“It’s always nice to see that ball go through,” he said. “It was great that my teammates trusted me to take those shots in big situations tonight.”
In the GLIAC semifinals, the Cardinals faced fifth seeded Ashland, who they had lost to both times this season.
Ashland had a 22 point halftime lead, and a strong second half defeated SVSU by 26.
Belyeu led the Cardinals with his 19 points during his 38 minutes of play. He was also able to grab seven rebounds and get a steal.
Senior guard Darnell Hoskins Jr. had 14 points of his own and was able to get a block, a steal, a rebound and two assists.
Belyeu was recognized for his success during the GLIAC tournament by being named to the “All Tournament” team.
Saginaw Valley should have most of its roster return next season. There are six freshmen, one redshirt freshman, two juniors and four seniors currently listed for the team.