FSU Leads Early Before Lakers Win GLIAC Tilt

FSU's Kelsey DeNoyelles handles the ball in Monday's game versus GVSU (Photo by Sandy Gholston)
FSU's Kelsey DeNoyelles handles the ball in Monday's game versus GVSU (Photo by Sandy Gholston)

Big Rapids, Mich. – The Ferris State University women’s basketball team jumped out to a 10-point advantage only 11 minutes into the game, but visiting archrival Grand Valley State battled back to post a 57-43 victory in the Great Lakes Intercollegiate Athletic Conference (GLIAC) opener for both teams at FSU’s Jim Wink Arena on Monday (Nov. 30) evening in Big Rapids.

The Bulldogs shot 45% from the floor in the first half and led 18-8 with 8:56 to play in the opening stanza before the Lakers closed the period on a 16-5 run to take a one-point edge (24-23) at the break.

In the second half, the Lakers showed why they were ranked 25th nationally in the preseason rankings. They scored the first four points of the final half and built a 13-point lead only 12 minutes into the second period en route to the victory.

The Lakers rebounded from a 28.6% (10-35) first-half shooting figure as they converted 12-of-27 (44.4%) tries in the second half to finish at 35.5% (22-62) for the contest. More importantly, they also held the Bulldogs to only nine-of-27 (33.3%) field goals in the final frame. FSU finished shooting 38.3% (18-47) for the night in suffering its first home loss in two tries.

GVSU took advantage of 20 Bulldog turnovers by outscoring Ferris 17-7 in points off miscues and also grabbed 21 offensive boards, which helped lead to a decisive 19-2 edge in second chance scoring. The Lakers totaled 41 rebounds compared to only 31 for Ferris.

“I felt like we defended extremely well, but we didn’t rebound at all and our goal for the game was to dominate the boards,” FSU head coach Tracey Dorow said. “We improved after halftime, but they started shooting the ball better and shot higher percentage shots in the second half.

“It’s a lack of focus and with our inexperience, it shows thru,” Dorow added. “They have a veteran team and really did a nice job on the boards.”

The game featured only two lead changes and the score was never tied. GVSU led early by scoring the first four points of the contest, but a 7-0 FSU run enabled the Bulldogs to take the lead and the Lakers were not able to regain the advantage until the final 30 seconds of the first half on a jumper by Emma Veach. Grand Valley State never trailed in final 20 minutes of the contest.

“We expect to play better than we did tonight and hopefully we can learn from this game and build on it as we go along,” Dorow said.

Point guard Jasmine Padin sparked the Laker comeback with a game-high 18 points, including four three-pointers. Veach added nine points and 10 rebounds along with five assists in a solid all-around outing.

The Bulldogs placed two in double-figure scoring as junior guard Becci Houdek tallied a team-best 12 points, but 10 came in the opening frame. She also dished out five assists for the Bulldogs. Meanwhile, sophomore guard Kelsey DeNoyelles scored 11 points and junior forward Tiara Adams pulled down a game-high 11 rebounds.

Ferris outscored the Lakers 26-23 in the paint and came up with 14 assists, five blocked shots and four steals. The Lakers registered 11 assists and two blocks to go with 14 thefts.

With the loss, the Bulldogs dropped to 1-3 overall and 0-1 in conference play. The Lakers improved to 3-1 on the year with the conference-opening triumph.

Ferris continues its three-game homestand with a pair of GLIAC games at Wink Arena this week. The Bulldogs next host Ashland on Thursday, Dec. 3, in a 6 p.m. (EST) league tilt followed by a conference contest versus Tiffin on Saturday, Dec. 5, with tipoff set for 12 p.m. (EST).

Bulldog Bites: The conference-opening loss was FSU’s first setback in a league opener since 2001-02. The Bulldogs had won their first GLIAC contest seven-straight years ……… GVSU improved to 51-24 all-time against FSU with the victory in the 75th series’ encounter ……… The Lakers were picked to finish second in the GLIAC North Division Preseason Media Poll with FSU listed third …… A crowd of 850 fans were on hand for the “Big Monday” matchup ……… Freshman guard Ashley Huntey tallied the first points of her career in the game and finished with six off the bench in only her second collegiate contest after joining the Bulldogs following a successful season with the FSU volleyball team ……… The Bulldogs utilized all 10 available players for the second-straight game ……… Ferris was only three-of-16 (18.8%) behind the three-point line compared to GVSU’s 5-of-20 (25%) showing …… Neither team attempted more than 10 free throws.