Marquette, Mich. - The Ferris State University women's basketball squad pulled off one of its biggest wins of the season as the Bulldogs topped Northern Michigan 69-61 in Great Lakes Intercollegiate Athletic Conference (GLIAC) North Division play on Saturday (Jan. 18) at the Berry Events Center in Marquette, Mich.
The Wildcats had lost only a single conference game all season entering the game and bolted out to a six-point lead only four minutes into the contest, but Ferris State battled back to grab the advantage and led the rest of the way.
FSU took a 31-22 halftime lead and increased the edge to as many as 18 points with 13 minutes to play before Northern Michigan pulled back within six with three minutes to play. However, the Bulldogs hit 10 free throws in the final 90 seconds to secure the victory.
Senior guard Sarah DeShone paced the Bulldogs with 17 points in the win as Ferris State pulled out a split on its trip to Michigan's Upper Peninsula after nearly knocking off the league's only remaining unbeaten team in Michigan Tech on Thursday evening.
Along with DeShone, Ferris State received 16 points from sophomore guard Destiny Robinson, who made three treys in the win. Sophomore forward Christina Branch added 12 points on four-of-four shooting to go with three made free throws on the inside.
Meanwhile, forward April Watson contributed eight points and a team-high seven rebounds with the Bulldogs also receiving seven points from sophomore guard Katie Mavis along with two steals each by Robinson and Mavis.
The Bulldogs withstood a game-high performance from Northern Michigan guard Alyssa Colla, who tallied 27 points but needed 20 shots to reach the figure. She made five three's while playing all 40 minutes of the game and was the lone NMU player to reach double-digits.
Ferris State shot 51.2% for the day, which included a 58.8% figure in the second half. FSU also hit seven-of-14 (50%) long range tries to go with an 18-of-30 (60%) showing at the free throw line.
Defensively, the Bulldogs forced 18 Northern Michigan turnovers and limited NMU to a 35.9%
shooting figure. The Wildcats made eight-of-34 (23.5%) three's and were seven-of-nine (77.8%) at the line. FSU outscored NMU 20-10 in points off turnovers.
Northern Michigan did own a 43-27 advantage on the glass and pulled down 21 offensive boards to six for Ferris State, which helped the Wildcats finish with a 17-12 margin in second chance production.
Both teams netted seven stelas with the Bulldogs totaling four blocked shots to go with seven assists. NMU finished with 10 assists, but had no blocks for the day.
With the win, Ferris State improved to 5-7 overall and 5-5 in the GLIAC while NMU dropped to 11-3 overall and 8-2 in league action.
Ferris State will return home to play three of their next four contests inside Jim Wink Arena beginning next Thursday (Jan. 23) when FSU hosts Northwood in GLIAC play. Tipoff is set for 6 p.m. (ET) in Big Rapids. The Bulldogs then square off against Lake Superior State on Saturday (Jan. 25) in a 1 p.m. (ET) afternoon matchup.