Quick Start Leads To Bulldog Women's Victory

FSU's Sarah DeShone pushes the ball in Saturday's victory over SVSU (Photo by Ben Amato)
FSU's Sarah DeShone pushes the ball in Saturday's victory over SVSU (Photo by Ben Amato)

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(Players: Lindsey Pettit, Becci Houdek & Coach Tracey Dorow)

Big Rapids, Mich. - A quick start fueled the Ferris State University women's basketball team to an important 83-66 Great Lakes Intercollegiate Athletic Conference (GLIAC) win over visiting Saginaw Valley State on Saturday (Feb. 5) afternoon inside FSU's Jim Wink Arena.

The Bulldogs scored nine of the game's first 11 points in the initial three minutes and led by 12 points only seven minutes into the contest en route to the victory. SVSU cut the lead to five points four different times in the half before a late run gave FSU a 44-31 edge at the break.

Ferris again started the second half strong as the Bulldogs jumped the lead to 22 points at 57-35 only five minutes into the period and never looked back as the lead eventually grew to as many as 26 points with 5:33 left in the contest.

The win helped the Bulldogs notch their 10th victory of the year as FSU improved to 10-10 overall and kept pace with only five regular-season games remaining in the race to qualify for the GLIAC Postseason Tournament.  Ferris previously had notched at least 10 wins for 13 consecutive years prior to last season.

"We had a rough night on Thursday and today we came out with a lot more confidence," said FSU head coach Tracey Dorow.  "We executed well and moved the ball well, got the shots we wanted and knocked them down.  Also, we played quite well defensively."

FSU, which is presently 6-8 overall in conference play, has now won four of its last six contests and avenged an earlier 70-67 setback at SVSU (Jan. 8).

Balanced scoring paced the Bulldogs as four players reached double-digits in the win.  Sophomore forward Lindsey Pettit (Portland) tallied a personal career-high 18 points and grabbed five rebounds in 29 minutes to lead FSU.

Meanwhile, the Bulldogs also received 15 points and eight assists from senior guard Becci Houdek (Canton) in addition to 14 points by senior forward Tiara Adams (Lansing/Waverly) along with 12 points from junior guard Tricia Principe (Kalamazoo/Mattawan).

Ferris shot 53.6% (30-56) from the floor, including a blistering 65.4% (17-26) in the initial frame.  FSU connected on six-of-15 (40%) three-pointers in addition to 17-of-19 (89.5%) free throws.

The Bulldogs also held their turnovers in check by totaling only nine in the game and forced 13 Cardinal miscues, which led to a 15-6 margin in points off turnovers.

On the defensive side, FSU also limited the Cardinals to only 37.5% (21-56) shooting, which included a five-of-16 (31.3%) showing from beyond the arc.  SVSU made 19-of-23 (82.6%) free throws.

Saginaw Valley State was led by Cheritee Green, who had 16 points and 11 rebounds in a double-double effort.  Grace Herzog added 14 points off the bench and Kelley Wesp totaled 11 points in the losing cause.

Ferris outrebounded SVSU 32-31 for the game and totaled 20 assists with five steals and three blocked shots.  The Cardinals recorded 13 assists, seven steals and three blocks.

With the setback, Saginaw Valley State fell to 6-14 overall and 4-10 in the GLIAC.

"This win is huge," said Dorow.  "We're battling to get in the tournament and every night is a rough night in the GLIAC so we need to make sure we are getting wins, especially at home.

"We came out ready and very determined today.  I was proud of the way we ran the floor, we transitioned very well and got the shots we wanted," she added.

The Bulldogs are back on the road this week as they will face Lake Erie for the first-time ever on Thursday, Feb. 10, in an 8 p.m. (ET) league tilt at Painsville, Ohio.  FSU then visits Ashland on Saturday, Feb. 12, for a 3 p.m. (ET) conference game in Ashland, Ohio, before returning home for its final three league regular-season games.

Bulldog Bites: Saturday's game included a special halftime performance by Fiddlers ReStrung as part of the Big Rapids area's Festival of the Arts Celebration ...... The Bulldogs totaled 46 of their 83 points inside the paint ..... FSU never trailed in the contest ...... The Cardinals' reserves outscored the Bulldogs' bench 38-17 as 66 of Ferris' 83 total points came from its starting five ..... SVSU grabbed 13 offensive boards and held a 13-4 advantage in second chance scoring ...... Becci Houdek also had three blocked shots and two steals to go with her 15 points and eight assists ..... Ferris had more field goals in the first half (17) than it did in Thursday's (Feb. 3) entire road setback at Lake Superior State (14) ..... Freshman forward/center Nikki Arner (Ludington) and Tiara Adams both had a team-high six rebounds for the Bulldogs .... Freshman guard Sarah DeShone (Elkhart, Ind./Jimtown) had seven points and six assists while earning a starting nod.