Early Second-Half Run Lifts Bulldogs To Victory To Open The New Year

Big Rapids, Mich. - The Ferris State University women's basketball team hit the floor for the first time in more than two weeks and came away with a 74-62 Great Lakes Intercollegiate Athletic Conference (GLIAC) home win over visiting Findlay on Thursday (Jan. 2) night inside FSU's Jim Wink Arena.

The Bulldogs, who had not played since beating Tiffin on the road in league play on Dec. 17, fell behind 29-22 at halftime before rebounding in the second half to notch the win. The victory was the second-straight for the Bulldogs, who improved to 3-4 overall and 3-2 in the GLIAC this campaign.

Ferris State fought back from the seven-point halftime deficit quickly in the second half as FSU scored the first 15 points of the second frame to take a eight-point lead and establish control. The run was fueled by the play of sophomores Dena Droste and April Watson.

Watson opened the second half with back-to-back baskets in the post and Droste followed with three consecutive three-points before Watson closed the 15-0 run with yet another basket to give FSU a 37-29 lead less than five minutes into the second half.

From there, the Bulldogs pushed the margin to 11 points with 12 minutes to play and eventually led by as many as 14 with 4:04 remaining in earning the victory.

Droste led the Ferris State attack with a Bulldog career-high 28 points on eight-of-17 shooting. She also hit four-of-seven three's and made all eight of her free throw attempts while adding eight rebounds, two assists and two steals in the win.

Meanwhile, Watson contributed 16 points and seven rebounds to go with two assists in her best game to date as a Bulldog. She converted eight-of-nine shots from the floor.

FSU also received seven points from sophomore guard Katie Mavis in addition to five by two-time All-America guard Sarah DeShone, who had a team-high tying five assists as did junior forward Kara Hess.  Sophomore center Christina Branch grabbed a game-high nine rebounds for the Bulldogs.

Ferris State hit on 47.4% of its field goal attempts and made seven-of-15 (46.7%) three's along with 13-of-16 (81.3%) free throws. They held Findlay to 32.4% shooting, which included only a nine-of-38 (23.7%) showing behind the three-point stripe in addition to a nine-of-12 (75%) effort at the line.

The Bulldogs owned a 44-33 rebounding edge for the night although Findlay came up with 13 offensive boards to 10 for FSU, which helped lead to a 9-7 advantage in second chance scoring.

The Oilers also forced 23 Bulldog turnovers to 18 of their own for a 17-16 margin in points off turnovers, but Ferris State posted an 11-7 edge in fast break production in a game that was tied only twice and had five total lead changes.

Both Lacey Kessler and Ciara Geiger had 12 points off the bench to lead the Oilers with Margaret Wuebker adding 10 points in the setback as UF fell to 5-4 overall and 2-3 in the conference standings.

The win was Ferris State's fourth in a row over the Oilers over the last three seasons and FSU improved to 11-9 all-time against Findlay with the triumph.

Ferris State will wrap up its two-game league homestand on Saturday (Jan. 4) by hosting Hillsdale inside Wink Arena. Tipoff is set for 1 p.m. (ET) and the contest will be carried live by Sunny 97.3 FM and the Bulldog Sports Network online at FerrisStateBulldogs.com.

Saturday's game will mark FSU's final home contest prior to a four-game road stretch as the Bulldogs are slated to make their two longest conference road trips of the season in back-to-back weeks.

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