Bulldogs' Season Ends In Regional Semifinals
Replay Live Audio Broadcast Of Game
Postgame Press Conference Video
(Head Coach Tracey Dorow, Christina Branch, Nikki Arner)
Ashland, Ohio - The Ferris State University women's basketball squad's memorable 2011-12 campaign came to a close on Saturday (March 10) evening in the NCAA Division II Midwest Region Semifinals as the Bulldogs suffered a 71-57 loss to Wisconsin-Parkside at Kates Gymnasium in Ashland, Ohio.
The Bulldogs led by as many as 11 points in the initial half and held a 47-42 edge with 12 minutes remaining before the nationally 17th-ranked Rangers stormed back. They outscored the Bulldogs 29-10 the rest of the way to advance to the regional title game on Monday night.
Ferris State concluded the season with a 23-7 overall record, which matches the school record set previously in 2006-07 for most wins in a campaign. Three seniors played their final games in a Bulldog uniform during the regional semifinals, including guards Tricia Principe and Lindsey Pettit along with Kelsey DeNoyelles.
FSU, seeded second in the eight-team regional,shot 51.3% (20-39) for the game, but was outscored 28-3 in points off turnovers as the third-seeded Rangers forced 24 Bulldog miscues. They turned up the pressure in the second half on the defensive end and allowed only seven Bulldog baskets over the final 20 minutes despite the fact FSU shot 53.8% (7-13) in the second stanza.
Additionally, the Rangers used some timely shooting on the offensive end to seize control over the final 10 minutes with Jenna Endisch finishing with a game-high 22 points, including six three-pointers. All-Great Lakes Valley Conference (GLVC) First Team honorees Brittany Beyer and Jadee Rooney added 18 and 16 points, respectively.
The Bulldogs were paced by DeNoyelles and Principe, who both finished with nine points in their final collegiate contests. Freshman forward/center Christina Branch and Pettit both added eight points each in the losing effort.
Wisconsin-Parkside reached the regional title game for the second-straight year and improved to 24-5 overall this season with the victory. They shot 43.3% (26-60) from the field and sank 12-of-16 (75%) free throws.
Ferris State owned a 32-25 rebounding advantage, but gave up nine offensive boards, which helped lead to UWP's 11-5 margin in second chance production. Additionally, the Rangers turned the ball over only three times in the first meeting between the two teams since 2002.
FSU, which dominated Drury (Mo.) by a 74-56 count in Friday's (March 9) opening game of the NCAA Tournament, started off hot again versus Wisconsin-Parkside as the Bulldogs led 22-11 with 8:28 to play in the first half. The Rangers managed to cut the deficit to two points, 34-32, at halftime before the Bulldogs upped the lead to nine points again with 13:30 left in the contest.
From that point forward, however, the Bulldogs did not score over the next six minutes and by that point the Rangers had grabbed a 53-48 advantage and never trailed again. FSU had led throughout until UWP finally took its first lead of the contest at 48-47 with 10:34 to go.
The Bulldogs totaled 14 assists, four blocked shots and a steal in the game compared to Wisconsin-Parkside's 12 assists, 12 steals and one block. Branch had all four of FSU's blocks in the contest and also added four assists to go with her eight points and six rebounds.
FSU finished shooting 56.3% (9-16) from three-point range and hit eight-of-12 (66.7%) free throws in the loss.
The Bulldogs claimed the school's second-ever Great Lakes Intercollegiate Athletic Conference (GLIAC) North Division Championship this season with a 17-2 league mark and also earned runner-up honors in the 2012 GLIAC Tournament.