Postgame Press Conference
(Coach Tracey Dorow, Kylie Muntz, Christina Branch)
Big Rapids, Mich. - Ferris State University proved to be too much for Saginaw Valley State in Great Lakes Intercollegiate Athletic Conference (GLIAC) women's basketball action on Saturday (Feb. 2) as the Bulldogs stormed past the Cardinals for a 81-57 victory at FSU's Jim Wink Arena.
The Bulldogs led only 33-26 at the break, but started quickly the second half to roll to the convincing win. FSU improved to 15-4 overall and 12-1 in the GLIAC with the win as the Bulldogs continue to lead the divisional standings with six regular-season games remaining.
FSU led by as many as 11 points in the first half before the Cardinals managed to chip into the lead late in the opening period. However, in the second half, FSU increased its lead to 22 points only 5:08 into the frame and never looked back.
Ferris State opened the second half on a 17-4 run to take control of the contest and led by as many as 30 points with 2:14 to play.
FSU shot 50% from the floor in the dominating win and connected on 15-of-18 (83.3%) free throws. Additionally, the Bulldogs also held a decisive 41-28 rebounding advantage with 12 coming on the offensive glass, which led to a 12-3 margin in second chance production.
Ferris State limited SVSU to only 34% shooting for the game, which included a three-of-seven (42.9%) effort beyond the three-point arc in comparison to the Bulldogs' four-of-16 (25%) showing. Saginaw Valley State hit 20-of-26 (76.9%) free throws.
Five Bulldog players reached double-figure scoring in the balanced effort as senior guard Tricia Principe (Kalamazoo/Mattawan) led the way with a team-best 13 points. She also had a five assists as FSU racked up 19 assists in the game to only nine for the Cardinals. Sophomore forward Nikki Arner (Ludington) totaled 12 points for the Bulldogs.
Junior guard Kylie Muntz (Dayton, Ohio) and freshman forward Christina Branch (Grand Rapids/West Michigan Lutheran) both chipped in with 11 points apiece while senior guard Kelsey DeNoyelles (Mt. Pleasant/Sacred Heart) had 10 points in the win.
Saginaw Valley State was led by Samantha Zirzow's game-high 19 points. Morgan Hughes added 14 points off the bench in the loss.
Ferris State's 41 rebounds included eight by freshman center Hannah Hoffman (Okemos) along with seven from Arner and six apiece by DeNoyelles and Branch. Three different Cardinal players had five each.
Sophomore guard Sarah DeShone (Elkhart, Ind./Jimtown) socred only two points, but fueled the Bulldog win with a game-high seven assists and two steals. Overall, FSU finished with seven steals and four blocked shots with Hoffman accounting for three of the swats.
The Cardinals had six steals and four blocks with 14 turnovers to only 12 for the Bulldogs. FSU recorded a 16-11 advantage in points off turnovers and outscored the Cardinals 34-16 in the paint. Ferris State also received 33 points from its reserves to only 14 for the SVSU bench.
FSU never trailed in the game after scoring the first five points of the contest.
Ferris State concludes its five-game league homestand with two home contests next week inside Wink Arena. FSU will host Lake Erie for the first-time ever on Thursday, Feb. 9, at 6 p.m. (ET) before a showdown with GLIAC South Division leader and nationally-ranked Ashland on Saturday, Feb. 11, at 1 p.m. (ET).