Ferris Flys Past Lewis In Wink Arena Opener

FSU's Tiara Adams drives to the basket in Tuesday's game against Lewis (Photo Courtesy Big Rapids Pioneer)
FSU's Tiara Adams drives to the basket in Tuesday's game against Lewis (Photo Courtesy Big Rapids Pioneer)

Big Rapids, Mich. – Balanced scoring, strong shooting and the home-court advantage helped the Ferris State University women’s basketball squad post its first victory of the 2009-10 campaign on Tuesday (Nov. 24) as the Bulldogs defeated regional foe Lewis (Ill.) by a 74-66 count inside Jim Wink Arena at Big Rapids.

FSU earned the win in its home opener as four players reached double-figure scoring. The Bulldogs also shot 55.1% (27-49) from the floor and converted 20-of-26 (76.9%) free throws in improving to 1-2 overall this season.

Ferris took a five-point lead only six minutes into the contest and led by the same margin at halftime after limiting the Flyers to only 36.4% (8-22) shooting in the initial frame. The score was tied (50-50) with 7:42 to play, but FSU closed the game on a 24-16 run in snapping a four-game series’ losing streak versus Lewis.

The score changed hands three times in the game, however, Lewis never led in the final 12 minutes of the contest.  LU dropped to 0-2 overall this year with the setback.

Junior guard Becci Houdek paced the Bulldogs with a game-high tying 14 points and added six assists in directing the FSU offense. Junior Tiara Adams chipped in with 13 points, three assists and three steals while sophomore guard Lindsey Pettit added a personal career-high 13 points to go with a pair of helpers. The Bulldogs also received a 12-point and six rebound effort from junior forward Amy Joostberns.

Neither team shot the ball well from beyond the three-point line as the Bulldogs finished 0-of-6 for the game and the Flyers were 5-of-26 (19.2%), including missing all 11 tries in the first half. Lewis made 13-of-20 (65%) free throws, but was also outrebounded 35-32 by the Bulldogs.

Ferris’ victory was also aided by its ability to limit its own turnovers as FSU finished with 17 miscues after averaging 28.5 turnovers in its initial two outings of the year last weekend. Defensively, the Bulldogs came up with seven steals on 14 Flyer turnovers.

Kady Currin was the Flyers’ leading point getter in the game with 14 points while Kelly Dianis added 11 points and Devon Carbaugh tallied 10 points.

FSU owned a 14-7 edge in fast break scoring and totaled 48 points in the paint compared to only 30 for Lewis. Ferris’ bench also outscored the Flyer reserves by a 21-18 margin.

The home-opening win was FSU’s fourth victory in its last five home openers at Wink Arena. Overall, the Bulldogs have claimed a win eight times in the last 11 seasons in their initial home contest.

After breaking for the Thanksgiving holiday, the Bulldogs will return to the floor for their 2009-10 Great Lakes Intercollegiate Athletic Conference (GLIAC) opener against archrival Grand Valley State next Monday (Nov. 30) evening inside Wink Arena. Tipoff for the “Big Monday” matchup is set for 6 p.m. (EST) with the men’s game to follow.

Bulldog Bites: The Flyers were picked to finish second in the Great Lakes Valley Conference (GLVC) Preseason North Division Poll with four starters and nine letterwinners back from a 16-13 team that advanced to the GLVC Tournament Semifinals last season ……… The Bulldogs utilized 10 different players in the game, including a two-sport athlete in freshman guard Ashley Huntey, who saw her first action after joining the team following the conclusion of Ferris’ volleyball season which ended in the NCAA Division II Midwest Regional Tournament last Thursday ……… Sophomore guard Tricia Principe had a solid all-around game with eight rebounds, five points and four assists despite taking attempting only one field goal …… FSU freshmen post players Katy Fox and Leah Kebler combined for eight points and six rebounds off the bench …… Ferris improved to 3-2 all-time against the Flyers in Big Rapids and evened the series’ at five wins apiece ……… The game featured a “Bond with Basketball” promotion as high school teams from Big Rapids, Reed City, White Cloud and Newaygo were on hand for a team building experience prior to the start of the prep season and took part in various shooting contests throughout the night …… The announced attendance was listed as 497 for the game … The Bulldogs recorded 18 assists with four players dishing out two or more.