Big Rapids, Mich. - A big first-half run by nationally fifth-ranked Nova Southeastern (Fla.) led the Sharks to a 94-70 win over the Ferris State University women's basketball squad in Sunday's (Nov. 24) final game of the United Electric Tipoff Classic hosted by Bellarmine University in Louisville, Ky.
The Bulldogs, who fell to the host Knights in Saturday's tournament opener, dropped to 0-2 on the year with the setback to the Sharks. Nova Southeastern has ranked as one of NCAA Division II's most dominant programs over the past two seasons.
Ferris State trailed by only two points at 13-11 with 12:39 to play in the first half of action before Nova Southeastern closed the opening period on a 37-17 run to build a 50-28 edge at the break. The Bulldogs played NSU to a two-point game the rest of the way, but could not chip into the Sharks' decisive halftime lead.
For the second-straight contest, the Bulldogs had 19 turnovers in the game with Nova Southeastern netting 18 in the contest. The Sharks also hit 12 three-pointers to only five for the Bulldogs.
Senior guard Sarah DeShone paced the Bulldogs with a game-high 22 points in the contest to claim All-Tournament Team accolades after back-to-back 20-plus point performances on the weekend.
DeShone was joined in double-digits by sophomore guard Dena Droste with 14 points while sophomore forward/center Christina Branch added 11 points and a game-high eight rebounds.
Ferris State shot 40% for the day, but finished five-of-22 (22.7%) beyond the three-point stripe along with 13-of-19 (68.4%) at the free throw line. FSU managed to reach the charity stripe only three times in the first half, shooting one-of-three (33.3%) over the opening 20 minutes of action.
Meanwhile, the Sharks hit on 50% of their field goal tries in the afternoon contest and converted 12-of-30 (40%) attempts from long range along with an impressive 22-of-23 (95.7%) showing at the line. The free throw performance included a 16-of-16 (100%) figure in the first half as NSU earned 13 more free throw tries in the first stanza than the Bulldogs.
Danielle Robinson led Nova Southeastern with 20 points in the contest and the Sharks also received 16 from Taylor Buie along with 15 by Alexis Murphy. Richelle Carach added 11 as four Nova Southeastern players reached double-figure scoring.
In addition, Jessica Russi led NSU with a game-high 12 assists and added five steals to go with a squad-high seven rebounds in the non-league matchup.
Overall, Ferris State totaled nine assists with seven steals and a single blocked shot. NSU finished with 23 assists, 12 steals and four blocks. The Sharks also owned a 40-33 rebounding margin and grabbed 14 offensive boards.
Destiny Robinson had a squad-best four steals for the Bulldogs with DeShone dishing out a team-high three assists.
Nova Southeastern held a decided advantage in bench scoring by a 34-13 count and also scored 24 points of Bulldog turnovers.
The Sharks, who are ranked fifth in the country, entered the tournament coming off two wins over top 25 opponents in #22 Washburn (Kan.) and #7 Stonehill in the Nova Southeastern Tipoff Classic. They defeated Kentucky State in the United Electric Tipoff Classic before improving to 4-0 on the year with the win over the Bulldogs after previously reaching the national quarterfinals and the NCAA-II Elite Eight a season ago.
Ferris State will break for the Thanksgiving holiday with the Bulldogs next scheduled to play their home and Great Lakes Intercollegiate Athletic Conference (GLIAC) opener against Lake Erie on Thursday, Dec. 5, at FSU's Jim Wink Arena. Tipoff is set for 6 p.m. (ET).