Ferris State Battles #9 Bellarmine To Overtime In Exciting Season-Opening Setback At Wink Arena

Ferris State Battles #9 Bellarmine To Overtime In Exciting Season-Opening Setback At Wink Arena

Big Rapids, Mich. - The Ferris State University women's basketball squad gave nationally ninth-ranked Bellarmine (Ky.) all it could handle in the season opener on Friday (Nov. 11) night as the two teams battled to overtime at the Bulldog Classic before the visiting Knights pulled out a thrilling 94-93 win at FSU's Jim Wink Arena.

The Bulldogs received a game-high 33 points and 11 rebounds from junior forward Rachel McInerney and placed four in double-digits while taking the Great Lakes Valley Conference (GLVC) divisional favorites to the wire in opening-day play.

Ferris State trailed 45-39 at halftime, but battled back early in the second half as the two squads exchanged leads back and forth the rest of the way. 

FSU took a 88-84 lead on a layup from McInerney with 2:46 to play in overtime. However, the Knights fought back and eventually tied the game up with a minute remaining before taking the advantage. BU's Mikayla Berry missed a free throw in the closing seconds to keep the score within three, but came up with her own offensive rebound and sank one of two tries to push the margin two four. FSU's Alexis Bush hit a three as time was wining down to draw Ferris State within one before time ran out on the Bulldogs.

The Bulldogs shot 52.2% from the floor for the night and hit on four-of-seven three's (57%) along with 19-of-27 (70.4%) free throws. Meanwhile, Bellarmine shot 43% overall and was nine-of-30 (30%) from long range along with 19-of-30 (63.3%) at the line.

Along with McInerney's big night, the Bulldogs received 17 points from newcomer Leah Humes, who fouled out towards the end of regulation after going seven-of-13 from the floor. Redshirt freshman Riley Blair added 15 points and Bush scored 12 in double-figures for Ferris State.

Bellarmine, which reached the NCAA Tournament a year ago and returned all but one of its key players, was led by Berry with 18 points off the bench. Preseason All-American Sarah Galvin finished with 17 points, but went only five-of-15 from the floor against the FSU defense. Raven Merriweather chipped in 16 points with Ally Mayhaus netting 12 points and Whitney Hartlage contributing 10 points in the win.

Ferris State had 22 turnovers to 16 for the nights in the game. FSU totaled 19 points off miscues to only 16 for the Knights and outscored Bellarmine 48-40 in the paint along with 21-15 on the break. Finally, the Bulldogs had 43 rebounds to 41 for BU.

Overall, the game featured 19 lead changes and was tied 11 times overall.

The Bulldogs will next face Ursuline on Sunday (Nov. 13) in the final game of the Bulldog Classic starting at 3 p.m. (ET) inside Wink Arena. The Arrows topped GLIAC member Wayne State in close fashion in the opening game of FSU's event on Friday evening in Big Rapids.