Big Rapids, Mich. - The Ferris State University women's basketball squad bolted out to a big lead and withstood a furious Lake Superior State rally to post a 74-71 win in Great Lakes Intercollegiate Athletic Conference (GLIAC) action on Saturday (Jan. 25) afternoon at FSU's Jim Wink Arena.
Ferris State took a 36-20 halftime edge and led by as many as 25 points with 16:58 to play before the Lakers rallied behind the shooting of Stephanie Fisher. She hit 10 three-pointers and finished with 34 points in the contest as LSSU closed the gap, but the Bulldogs prevailed in the end.
After taking a 16-point halftime lead, the Bulldogs quickly increased the margin to start the second frame and led 45-20 with 16:58 to go in the contest. However, Fisher sparked the LSSU comeback by hitting nine of her 10 three's in the final 16 and a half minutes.
LSSU cut the Bulldogs' 25-point lead down to one with 5:44 remaining and eventually tied the game up twice in the final five minutes, but could never regain the lead as the Bulldogs held on down the stretch.
Senior guard Sarah DeShone led the Bulldogs with 20 points on eight-of-10 shooting and added a game-high eight assists with four steals as the Bulldogs moved to 6-8 overall and evened their league record at 6-6 on the year.
Along with DeShone, the Bulldogs received 12 points and six rebounds from junior forward Kara Hess. Junior forward Heidi Highstreet provided a valuable contribution off the bench with nine points and five boards while sophomore guard Katie Mavis chipped in seven points.
FSU also received six points and a team-high eight rebounds along with two assists from sophomore forward April Watson while junior center Hannah Hoffman scored six points and pulled down seven rebounds.
Ferris State forced 19 turnovers for the afternoon and outscored the Lakers 23-9 in points off miscues. The Bulldogs also owned a 35-29 edge on the glass and came up with 11 offensive boards to six for the visitors.
Besides Fisher's 34 points, the Lakers also received a valuable contribution from senior Raven Trammell off the bench as she tallied 19 points and hit four three's to go with a squad-high seven assists and two steals. Fisher and Trammell combined for 44 points in the second half alone with 12 of their 14 long range bombs coming in the second frame.
Overall, Ferris State shot 45.9% for the afternoon and hit four-of-nine (44.4%) three's in addition to a 14-of-17 (82.4%) effort at the line. LSSU made 43.1% of its field goals, including a 56% showing in the second half. They were also 15-of-30 (50%) from downtown and made 12-of-16 (75%) tries from the charity stripe.
The Bulldogs totaled only 13 turnovers for the game and also had 13 steals along with two blocked shots. Sophomore guard Dena Droste added three steals to go with DeShone's four thefts and also added three rebounds and three assists to go with her six points. LSSU netted three steals and a single block.
Ferris State distributed the ball well as the Bulldogs compiled 22 assists with four players recording three or more for the day. The Lakers finished with 19 helpers on the afternoon.
The win was the Bulldogs' fifth-straight over Lake Superior State and also was FSU's third victory in its last five outings overall. LSSU fell to 4-14 overall and 4-8 in league action with the loss. The game featured three lead changes and was tied three times.
The Bulldogs will be back in action on Thursday (Jan. 30) as FSU visits Wayne State for a league tilt in Detroit. Tipoff has been moved to 5:37 p.m. (ET) with the contest being televised live across Michigan by Comcast. It can also be heard live on Sunny 97.3 FM and the Bulldog Sports Network online at FerrisStateBulldogs.com.
Following Thursday's game, the Bulldogs reutrn home to host Saginaw Valley State on Saturday (Feb. 1) inside Wink Arena starting at 1 p.m. (ET). Advance tickets are on sale now and can be purchased thru the FSU Athletics Ticket Office, online at StarTickets.com or by calling (800) 585-3737.