Big Rapids, Mich. - The Ferris State University women's basketball squad took the floor for the first time with an exhibition game versus Calvin College on Friday (Nov. 2) evening, but came out on the short end of a 65-56 decision inside FSU's Jim Wink Arena.
The contest against the nation's number one ranked team in the NCAA Division III preseason rankings marked the Bulldogs' debut under first-year head coach Colleen Lamoreaux-Tate.
FSU, which is the defending Great Lakes Intercollegiate Athletic Conference (GLIAC) North Division Champions, held a slim 27-26 advantage at halftime, but was outscored 39-29 over the final 20 minutes.
The Bulldogs scored the game's first five points before the Knights came back to build a 10-point lead with 8:44 to go in the opening period. However, FSU outscored Calvin 17-6 the remainder of the half to grab the one-point lead at the break.
In the second half, the Bulldogs quickly pushed the lead to five points with 16:55 left to play, but the Knights fought back and owned a one-point advantage with 8:30 remaining in the outing.
FSU surged back in front and took a one-point edge with 5:49 remaining on the clock before Calvin answered with a 13-0 run to take control and seize the victory.
Junior guard Sarah DeShone paced the Bulldogs with a game-high 25 points and 11 rebounds as she connected on 10-of-15 shots from the field and hit two-of-four three-pointers. Sophomore forward Christina Branch added 10 points and eight boards in the setback for FSU.
Ferris State also received five points each from senior center Katy Fox, senior guard Kylie Muntz and redshirt freshman guard Katie Mavis, who added a squad-best four assists and two steals in her first collegiate action.
Calvin was led by Carissa Verkaik with 16 points and 11 boards in a double-double effort. Kayla Engelhard chipped in with 14 points for the Knights.
Ferris State shot 45.1% (23-51) overall and the Bulldogs made four-of-11 (36.4%) three's along with six-of-12 (50%) free throws. They limited Calvin to a 33.8% (22-65) showing on the floor with the Knights converting seven-of-29 (24.1%) tries from beyond the arc and 14-of-16 (87.5%) free throws.
Both teams totaled 38 rebounds, but Calvin had 17 offensive boards to 10 for the Bulldogs, which led to a 19-3 margin in second chance production. The Knights also forced 18 FSU turnoves that helped Calvin maintain a 16-10 margin in points off turnovers.
Ferris State netted 13 assists, six steals and five blocked shots with the Knights totaling eight assists, 11 steals and four blocks.
Overall, the game was tied three times and featured seven lead changes.
The Bulldogs open the regular-season on Nov. 9-10 in the United Electric Tip-Off Classic hosted by Bellarmine University in Louisville, Ky. The season opener is against Cedarville (Ohio) on Friday, Nov. 9, at 5 p.m. (ET).