January 26, 2013 at 1:00 am

Terry Foster

Wayne State basketball facing key GLIAC test

Bryan Coleman and his Wayne State teammates lost their perfect league record when they lost in double-overtime against Ferris State on Thursday. They host Grand Valley State today. (Tim Fuller/Special to Detroit News)

Detroit -- At times like these, David Greer needs to keep cool.

He can't panic. He can't flip out. He's got to remain stoic, business-like and strong.

"We've got some guys who understand what it takes to be in (a key) situation," Greer said. "Everybody will take my cue. It is about work."

And for Greer, Wayne State's coach, it's about today's game.

"It is about getting ready for Grand Valley (State) and forgetting (a double overtime loss to) Ferris (State)," he said. "It is a big home game. It is not the end of the world but after winning so many games in a row you do not want to lose a couple in a row."

And with that comes the first crisis for Wayne State.

Grand Valley State comes to Matthaei Center breathing fire — and looking for a share of first place in the North Division of the Great Lakes Intercollegiate Athletic Conference. Wayne State currently holds that spot with an 11-1 mark (12-3 overall); Grand Valley State is 11-2 (14-3).

Much at stake

Greer, who played at Bowling Green and was an assistant at Detroit under Perry Watson, wants his players to realize the opportunity they have.

"You always want to be in a position to be playing big games; that is what matters," Greer said. "When you have teams talking about, 'We ain't got nothing to lose,' I don't want to be one of those teams. I always want to be involved with one of those teams where every game matters.

"We are going down the stretch where our games mean something. How they respond to it is a different story."

There is, however, more than a loss for Wayne State to bounce back from.

Sure, losing in double overtime Thursday ended a seven-game winning streak. But the Warriors also lost leading scorer Mike Hollingsworth (15.9 points) to a shoulder injury.

Hollingsworth is listed as day-to-day, but is likely to miss up to two weeks.

But don't expect to see Greer worry — at least publicly.

Stepping in is Bryan Coleman, a 6-foot-2 junior averaging 8.1 points. Coleman filled in for Hollingsworth much of last season, too, when the same shoulder injury sidelined him.

Grand defense

Grand Valley State is a pain to play — no matter the sport.

And the Lakers enter today's game riding a six-game winning streak.

And they've done it with defense — much like the Warriors.

Grand Valley State is No. 1 in the conference in scoring defense at 58.6 points. Wayne State is No. 3 at 62.2.

So, don't be surprised if the first team to 60 points wins.

"You hang your hat on defense," Greer said. "It is a simple formula. You try to limit their shots. You try to force turnovers, get easy baskets and rebound the ball."

terry.foster@detnews.com

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