Nation's Top-Ranked Eagles Pull Away For Win Over Bulldogs In GLIAC Action

Nation's Top-Ranked Eagles Pull Away For Win Over Bulldogs In GLIAC Action

Big Rapids, Mich. - The Ferris State University women's basketball squad squared off against the number one team in the country on Saturday (Dec. 17) and competed well much of the way before falling to the Ashland Eagles by a 96-74 count at the Big Rapids High School gymnasium.

The nation's top-ranked Eagles led the entire way, but owned only a 46-34 halftime lead against the Bulldogs in a highly-competitive first half of action. Ashland, though, proved to be too much in the end as they used a big third quarter spurt to push the lead to 20 plus points en route to the victory.

Ferris State kept the game close early as both junior center Rachel McInerney and redshirt freshman guard Riley Blair had strong opening halves. Blair finished with a team-high 19 points in the game while McInerney added 16 points in the losing cause.

Turnovers hampered the Bulldog effort as FSU had 26 on the afternoon against the Eagles' heavy defensive pressure, which led to Ashland owning a decisive 39-6 margin in points off turnovers.

The Eagles received a strong performance from standout forward Laina Snyder, who tallied a game-high 22 points and also came up with six rebounds, five blocks, four assists and two steals. 

Along with Snyder, Ashland's Julie Worley totaled 18 points off the bench while Andi Daugherty posted 15 points and Kelsey Peare scored 10 for the Eagles.

The Bulldogs shot 50% overall and went three-of-nine (33.3%) from three-point range along with 19-of-26 (73.1%) at the line in the game. Meanwhile, the Eagles shot at a 46.1% clip and hit nine-of-27 (33.3%) three's in addition to 17-of-21 (81%) free throws.

Ashland managed to outrebound the Bulldogs 38-32 for the afternoon, which included 17 offensive boards to eight for the Bulldogs, leading to a 19-5 edge in second chance production. Jodi Johnson had a team-high eight rebounds for AU.

Ferris State finished with 23 assists, including four apiece from junior guard Leah Humes and sophomore guard Alexis Bush. FSU also had six steals and a single blocked shot.

On the AU side, the Eagles posted 25 assists with Alex Henning garnering a game-high seven helpers for the visitors. Peare tallied a team-high four steals as part of Ashland's 14 overall and the Eagles also blocked eight FSU shots while turning the ball over only 14 times in nearly reaching 100 points.

The game was played the Big Rapids High School gymnasium due to FSU winter graduation ceremonies at Jim Wink Arena.

The Bulldogs will return to Wink Arena on Monday (Dec. 19) as they play their final game prior to the holiday break by hosting the Tiffin Dragons. The game gets underway at 10:30 a.m. (ET) as part of a special school-day event with children from local schools across the area expected to be in attendance for the contest.