Big Rapids, Mich. - The Ferris State University women's basketball team went to overtime for the first time this season, but could not pull out the victory on Thursday (Jan. 23) night as visiting Northwood escaped Jim Wink Arena with a 90-82 victory in Great Lakes Intercollegiate Athletic Conference (GLIAC) play.
The two teams battled back and forth throughout the night and were tied at 74 points apiece at the end of regulation. However, NU outscored the Bulldogs 16-8 in the extra frame to record the triumph.
Northwood jumped in front during the first half and led by as many as 12 points with 13:06 to go in the half before takinga 43-40 advantage at the break. The Bulldogs, though, fought back and eventually grabbed an eight-point margin with 4:12 remaining in the second frame.
From there, however, the Timberwolves held FSU scoreless the rest of regulation as they closed the final four minutes of the second stanza on a 8-0 run. NU's Lauren Robak came up with an offensive rebound and made one of two free throws with 45 seconds to play in regulation to tie the game up.
Ferris State ran the clock down and eventually took timeout in the closing seconds after both teams traded turnovers on a wild scramble underneath the Bulldogs' offensive basket. However, FSU was not able to capitalize on the final possession as the two squads headed to the extra session.
In overtime, Northwood struck first and pushed the lead to four points with 2:45 to go. The advantage grew to seven points with 50 seconds left as the Bulldogs missed five shots and turned the ball over once in the initial four minutes of the overtime period. From there, Northwood made six free throws down the strech to earn the victory.
Robak had a big night for Northwood with a game-high 31 points in the contest and hit 10-of-13 free throws. She also added eight rebounds, three assists, two blocked shots and a steal in 41 minutes of action.
Along with Robak, Gabrielle Rivette also shined for the Timberwolves as she came up with 26 points, six assists, five rebounds and four steals. She converted six-of-eight free throws and made four-of-five three's on the night to help the Northwood cause. Sarah Susan also reached double-digits with 13 points despite first half foul trouble.
Ferris State was paced by senior guard Sarah DeShone, who finished with 15 points, 10 assists, five rebounds and two steals in 40 minutes. Sophomore guard Dena Droste added 14 points while making four three-pointers, but was held scoreless after halftime. Finally, junior forward Kara Hess chipped in 12 points offensively.
The Bulldogs played without the services of sophomore forward Christina Branch due to injury and that helped Northwood own a 40-36 rebounding edge. They had 11 offensive boards to nine for the Bulldogs although Ferris State posted a 13-7 edge in second chance scoring.
Turnovers hurt the Bulldogs as FSU had 18 on the night and that helped the Timberwolves record a decisive 24-12 margin in points off miscues. NU finished with 16 turnovers in the game, but also had 10 steals to only six for the Bulldogs.
Overall, Northwood shot 46.8% overall and hit 10-of-27 (37%) three's along with 22-of-29 (75.9%) free throws. Ferris State hit 45.8% of its shots, but was only three-of-10 (30%) from the floor in the extra session. The Bulldogs finished nine-of-19 (47.4%) beyond the arc and made all seven of their free throws in the game.
Along with DeShone's 10 assists, the Bulldogs also received five from sophomore guard Destiny Robinson. Junior forward Hannah Hoffman contributed nine points in addition to a team-high eight rebounds and two of FSU's three blocked shots in the outing.
Kaitlin Susan paced Northwood on the glass with a game-high nine rebounds and added three assists and two steals.
With the win, Northwood improved to 9-6 overall and 7-4 in league play while the Bulldogs fell to 5-8 overall and 5-6 in conference action. The win was only NU's seventh-ever victory in Big Rapids as FSU had captured 26 of the previous 32 meetings on its home floor.
Ferris State continues its GLIAC homestand by hosting Lake Superior State on Saturday (Jan. 25) starting at 1 p.m. (ET) inside Wink Arena.
Saturday will be Kids Day with plenty of activities for youth including face painting, sign making, halftime games and more. All kids in grades K-12 are free with a paid adult.
The contest will also be carried live by Sunny 97.3 FM and the Bulldog Sports Network online at FerrisStateBulldogs.com with Rob Bentley and Sandy Gholston calling the action.