Postgame Press Conference
(Head Coach Tracey Dorow, Nikki Arner)
Big Rapids, Mich. - The Ferris State University women's basketball team had its 10-game win streak snapped as the Bulldogs dropped a 66-56 decision to nationally fifth-ranked Ashland in a Great Lakes Intercollegiate Athletic Conference (GLIAC) showdown on Saturday (Feb. 11) at FSU's Jim Wink Arena.
The Eagles won their 22nd consecutive game to improve to 22-1 overall and 16-0 in conference play by beating FSU, which fell to 16-5 overall and 13-2 in the GLIAC. The game pitted the GLIAC's South Division leader in Ashland against the North Division leader in Ferris State.
The 25th-ranked Bulldogs trailed 32-25 at halftime and were outscored 34-31 in the second frame as they wrapped up a five-game homestand at Wink Arena.
FSU led by three points only three seconds in the game after scoring on the opening tip, but that was the largest lead the Bulldogs had on the day. Overall, the contest featured nine lead changes and the score was tied three times.
Ashland led by seven points with 14:32 to go in the first half before FSU fought back to take a one-point lead at the 11:28 mark of the opening frame. AU regained the advantage and pushed the lead to 10 points late in the period before a Bulldog three-pointer cut the margin to seven points at the break.
The Eagles jumped the margin to 11 points midway thru the second period, but FSU eventually trimmed it back to only three points with 3:49 left. However, AU's Kari Daughterty connected on a three-pointer to push the margin back to six points and FSU could get no closer the rest of the way.
Jena Stutzman paced Ashland with a game-high 21 points while Daughterty, a Division I transfer from Dayton, added 20 points and 13 rebounds in a double-double effort. Ashley Dorner also contributed 12 points to help the Ashland cause.
The Bulldogs were led by sophomore guard Sarah DeShone's (Elkhart, Ind./Jimtown) 11 points, but she was the lone FSU player to reach double-figure scoring.
The Eagles shot 43.3% (26-60) from the floor and hit five-of-19 (26.3%) three's along with nine-of-12 (75%) free throws. They limited FSU to only 35.8% (19-53) shooting with the Bulldogs sinking eight-of-23 (34.8%) long range tries and 10-of-13 (76.9%) free throws.
Ashland forced 14 Bulldog turnovers and held a decisive 16-6 edge in points off miscues as they limited their own turnovers to only seven on the day. They also posted a 12-11 edge in second chance scoring on 10 offensive boards to nine for FSU. Overall, AU outrebounded Ferris State 36-35 for the game.
Although the Bulldogs had only one player reach double-figure scoring, a balanced effort kept FSU in the game for much of the way. FSU's bench outscored the Ashland reserves by a 20-5 figure and seven Bulldog players scored five points or more.
Freshman forward Christina Branch (Grand Rapids/West Michigan Lutheran) added nine points with six rebounds for Ferris State while senior guard Tricia Principe (Kalamazoo/Mattawan) totaled a team-high 12 rebounds to go with six points and four assists.
Sophomore forward Ashley Rando (Jackson/Northwest) contributed eight points and knocked down a pair of three-point shots with sophomore forward Nikki Arner (Ludington) posting seven points on the day.
Ferris State totlaed 14 assists to nine for the guests with both Principe and junior guard Kylie Muntz (Dayton, Ohio) totaling four each. FSU also had three steals and a blocked shot in comparison to AU's seven steals and three blocks.
FSU still leads Michigan Tech atop the GLIAC North Division standings by two games with four regular-season contests remaining. The Bulldogs also own the head-to-head tiebreaker.
Ferris State will play three of its final four regular-season games on the road. The stretch begins next Thursday, Feb. 16, as FSU visits Wayne State for a 5:30 p.m. (ET) league game in Detroit. Ferris then travels to Findlay on Saturday, Feb. 18, for a 1 p.m. (ET) conference tipoff.