Marquette, Mich. - The Ferris State University women's basketball squad maintained its two-game lead atop the Great Lakes Intercollegiate Athletic Conference (GLIAC) North Division standings as the Bulldogs came back to beat Northern Michigan 78-71 on Saturday (Jan. 21) at the Berry Events Center in Marquette.
FSU trailed 33-24 at the break, but outscored NMU 54-38 in the final half to improve to 12-4 overall and 9-1 in league play. The win was the Bulldogs' sixth consecutive victory this season.
Freshman forward Christina Branch (Grand Rapids/West Michigan Lutheran) led the way with 23 points for the Bulldogs while sophomore guard Sarah DeShone (Elkhart, Ind./Jimtown) added 18 points and sophomore forward Nikki Arner (Ludington) finished with 13 points.
The Bulldogs shot a blistering 60.9% in the second half after shooting only 34.6% in the first frame to finish at 46.9% for the game.
Ferris State converted 26-of-36 (72.2%) from the free throw line and also made six-of-11 (54.5%) from beyond the three-point arc.
NMU was led by Chelsea Lyons' game-high 30 points, which included 14 in the first half and 16 in the second frame. Alyssa Colla chipped in with 17 points while Courtney Lemon totaled 10 points.
Northern Michigan sank nine-of-23 (39.1%) three's for the game, but was only 12-of-20 (60%) at the free throw line. They finished shooting 43.9% overall from the floor.
FSU outrebounded the Wildcats 40-26 for the game and tallied 13 offensive boards. Both Branch and Arner pulled down nine rebounds apiece to lead the Bulldogs in that category.
The Bulldogs finished with 16 turnovers to nine for Northern Michigan. The game featured six lead changes and was tied twice.
NMU's nine-point advantage at the break was its largest of the game, but the Bulldogs outscored the Wildcats 35-8 over the first 12 and a half minutes of the second frame to take an 18-point lead with 7:36 remaining. However, NMU battled back and eventually cut the margin to five points twice in the final two minutes but could get no closer.
FSU finished with eight assists, two steals and two blocked shots while the Wildcats netted seven helpers, four thefts and zero blocks in the outing. Four of FSU's eight assists went to senior guard Tricia Principe (Kalamazoo/Mattawan) while DeShone had three.
Ferris State will host Grand Valley State on Saturday (Jan. 28) with tipoff set for 1 p.m. (ET)inside Wink Arena.