Big Rapids, Mich. - A strong second half combined with an impressive performance from senior guard Sarah DeShone fueled the Ferris State University women's basketball team to a 79-68 Great Lakes Intercollegiate Athletic Conference (GLIAC) road victory over Walsh University on Saturday (Jan. 11) afternoon at Alumni Arena in North Canton, Ohio.
The Bulldogs stopped a two-game skid and evened their league record at 4-4 overall this campaign after receiving a game-high 29 points from a two-time All-American in DeShone. FSU led 34-32 at the break before outscoring the Cavaliers 45-36 over the final 20 minutes of action.
DeShone hit nine-of-15 shots from the floor and made three treys along with all eight of her free throw attempts as FSU improved to 4-6 overall this campaign. Walsh fell to 5-8 on the year and 1-7 in conference action with the loss.
While DeShone had the big game for the Bulldogs, Ferris State received contributions from its entire squad as 12 different players saw action and 10 scored. Sophomore guard Destiney Robinson moved into the starting lineup and tallied 13 points while sophomore center Christina Branch posted a double-double with 12 points and a game-high 10 boards.
The Bulldogs shot 52.7% for the day and hit seven-of-16 (43.8%) three's along with 14-of-19 (73.7%) free throws.
Walsh led by as many as 10 points with eight minutes to play in the opening half before a big Bulldog run gave FSU the advantage at the break. The Cavaliers finished shooting exactly 36.4% in each half and for the game from the floor. They made eight-of-26 (30.8%) three-point tries and hit 12-of-17 (70.6%) free throws in the contest.
The Cavaliers were led by Kelsey Funderburgh's team-high 19 points in the loss. Tara Gallupe added 17 points and Rachael Trujillo contributed 10 points.
Ferris State beat the Cavaliers for the second time in as many series' matchups and did so in its first-ever visit to Alumni Arena.
The Bulldogs dominated the boards with a decisive 47-27 rebounding margin and tallied 12 offensive rebounds, which helped lead to a 14-7 advantage in second chance production.
Walsh stayed close in the initial half as they forced 22 Bulldog turnovers on the day although FSU still finished with a narrow 16-15 edge in points off miscues despite the fact the Cavaliers turned it over only 14 times.
Along with her 29 points, DeShone added a squad-best four assists and had four rebounds to help the Bulldog cause. Her four assists were among 10 helpers on the day for FSU, which also came up with six steals and four blocked shots. Four of FSU's steals came from Robinson, who also had three assists.
Junior center Hannah Hoffman totaled three of the Bulldogs' blocked shots in the game.
Walsh totaled 13 assists, 11 steals and three blocks for the afternoon.
The Bulldogs will continue their four-game league road swing with a pair of contests in Michigan's Upper Peninsula next week. FSU visits Michigan Tech on Thursday (Jan. 16) for a 5:30 p.m. (ET) league tilt against the Huskies inside MTU's Student Development Complex Gymnasium.
After Thursday's game, the Bulldogs wrap up the road stretch versus Northern Michigan on Saturday (Jan. 18) beginning at 11 a.m. (ET) inside the Berry Events Center at Marquette.
All Ferris State University basketball contests can be heard live on Sunny 97.3 FM and the Bulldog Sports Network online at FerrisStateBulldogs.com.