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(Players: Tiara Adams, Tricia Principe, Becci Houdek)
Big Rapids, Mich. - The Ferris State University women's basketball squad rallied for an exciting 63-60 upset win over nationally eighth-ranked Michigan Tech in Great Lakes Intercollegiate Athletic Conference (GLIAC) play on Thursday (Jan. 20) night at FSU's Jim Wink Arena.
The Bulldogs trailed by five points, 58-53, with 2:39 to play in the contest before coming back to earn the victory and hand Michigan Tech its first conference setback of the campaign. The Huskies had led 33-29 at halftime and were up 12 down the stretch.
FSU trimmed the deficit to a single point on back-to-back three pointers from junior guard Tricia Principe (Kalamazoo/Mattawan) with 1:40 to play. After a defensive stop, the Bulldogs grabbed the lead on a basket inside from junior forward Tiara Adams (Lansing/Waverly) with 44 seconds remaining.
On the following possession, Michigan Tech turned the ball over as senior guard Becci Houdek (Canton) stepped in front of an ill-advised pass. Principe, the nation's leading free throw shooter a year ago, was fouled and sank both free throws to preserve the victory.
"We deserved to pull off the upset and a get over the hump type game," said FSU head coach Tracey Dorow. "I'm really proud of the work they've done and how they played tonight."
Ferris State improved to 8-8 overall and 4-6 in the GLIAC with its second-straight win. It was also FSU's second triumph over a ranked team this season after previously beating Gannon earlier this year at home. Both Michigan Tech and Gannon were NCAA Division II Elite Eight qualifiers last year.
Adams paced FSU with a season-high 19 points and also had both three assists and three steals. She sank all nine of her free throw attempts in the win. Houdek also reached double-digits with 12 points in the outing to go with nine rebounds and seven assists. All eight of Principe's points came in the final 2:20 of the game.
Ferris State used a strong showing from the free throw line to earn the win as the Bulldogs converted 18-of-21 (85.7%) tries from the charity stripe. FSU was 21-of-48 (43.8%) overall from the floor and made three-of-nine (33.3%) three-pointers.
Defensively, the Bulldogs held Michigan Tech to 41.2% (21-51) shooting with the Huskies sinking nine-of-27 (33.3%) three's and nine-of-12 (75%) free throws.
"They missed some shots and got a little bit tight late in the game," Dorow said. "We also did a good job of rebounding when we needed it."
Both teams grabbed 30 rebounds for the night with Michigan Tech managing 10 offensive boards. However, Ferris outscored MTU 13-9 in second chance points and held a 38-28 edge in points scored inside the paint. The Bulldogs totaled 17 points off of 16 Michigan Tech turnovers in comparison with MTU's 16 points off 10 Bulldog miscues.
The Bulldogs totaled 15 assists, 11 steals and two blocked shots. Meanwhile, Michigan Tech had nine assists, seven steals and four blocks for the game.
The Huskies were led by Lucy Dernovsek's game-high 21 points with Sam Hoyt adding 11 points. Lindsey Lindstrom posted nine rebounds and eight points while Lisa Staehlin pulled down eight rebounds for the visitors.
"We played well and made it a great game tonight," said Dorow. "It's about consistency of effort and performance. We're beginning to carry things over from practice to the games and hopefully they are starting to see what happens when that is done."
The loss dropped Michigan Tech to 13-2 overall and 8-1 in the GLIAC this campaign.
Ferris State will next host Northern Michigan on Saturday (Jan. 22) at Wink Arena with the women's contest slated for a 3 p.m. (ET) start. It will also be "Kidz Day" sponsored by Green's Sporting Goods with a variey of activities taking place for youth.
Bulldog Bites: The victory snapped a four-game Michigan Tech series' winning streak ..... MTU had won 16 of the previous 23 meetings prior to the contest ....... Ferris State will face archrival Grand Valley State in the "131 Showdown" on Saturday, Jan. 29, at Van Andel Arena in Grand Rapids ...... Tricia Principe added six rebounds and two steals in the win ...... Freshman guard Sarah DeShone (Elkhart, Ind./Jimtown) totaled eight points and a had an assist on Tiara Adams' go-ahead bucket late in the game ..... Senior forward/center Andrea Clancy (Port Austin/North Huron) totaled seven points for the Bulldogs ..... Eleven Bulldog players saw action in the victory ..... The win avenged an earlier 64-43 loss to the Huskies this year in Houghton (Dec. 18).