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Big Rapids, Mich. - The Ferris State University women's basketball team saw its three-game winning streak come to an end as the Bulldogs suffered a 75-65 setback to the Tiffin Dragons in their 2010-11 Great Lakes Intercollegiate Athletic Conference (GLIAC) opener on Thursday (Dec. 2) night at FSU's Jim Wink Arena.
The visiting Dragons shot an impressive 60.7% (17-28) in the initial half and forced 21 Bulldog turnovers in the game to remain unbeaten at 5-0 this campaign.
Ferris State fell to 3-2 overall after having won three consecutive contests, including two on the road against regional foes prior to the Thanksgiving holiday.
Tiffin proved early it's a much-improved unit over a year ago as the Dragons grabbed an early 9-2 advantage and led by 13 points only seven minutes into the contest. They held a 14-point cushion at halftime and eventually built the lead to as many as 24 points with six minutes to go in the game before FSU was able to whittle it down to 10 points in the end.
Returning all-conference guard Mandy Jaeb was a thorn in the Bulldogs' side as she registered a game-high 24 points on 10-of-14 shooting overall. She connected on two-of-three long range attempts and added four steals. She was joined in double-digits by Jessica Harris, who had 12 points and a team-high tying six rebounds.
Tiffin cooled off some in the second half, but still managed to shoot 48.3% (29-60) from the field for the game and was six-of-16 (37.5%) beyond the three-point arc. The Dragons converted 11-of-18 (61.1%) free throws.
Meanwhile, the Bulldogs shot 50% (12-24) over the final 20 minutes after mustering only a 37.5% (9-24) first half figure. FSU was 21-of-48 (43.8%) overall and 21-of-26 (80.8%) at the charity stripe. However, Ferris made only two-of-13 (15.4%) three-pointers.
The Bulldogs also had two players reach double-figure scoring with junior guard Kelsey DeNoyelles (Mt. Pleasant/Sacred Heart) recording a team-high 12 points. Senior forward Tiara Adams (Lansing/Waverly) added 11 points and six rebounds for FSU, which also received eight points from senior center Andrea Clancy (Port Austin/North Huron) and seven points by junior forward Lindsey Pettit (Portland).
Ferris State did own a 34-29 advantage on the boards and came up with 13 assists, six steals and two blocked shots in comparison to Tiffin's 17 assists, 13 thefts and four blocks. Holly Focke had a team-high five assists for Tiffin while senior guard Becci Houdek (Canton) netted a contest-best six assists for FSU and also totaled two steals and two blocked shots to go with five points and five rebounds.
While Ferris outscored the Dragons 30-24 in the paint and 14-10 in second chance scoring, Tiffin's pressure helped lead to a 20-11 edge over FSU in points off turnovers. Ferris did receive 24 points from its bench with the Dragon reserves compiling 19 points on the night.
The Bulldogs will try to get back on track when they host league newcomer Ohio Dominican for the first-time ever on Saturday (Dec. 2) afternoon at Wink Arena. Tipoff is set for 3 p.m. (ET).
Saturday will also represent the first of FSU's Saturday "Kidz Dayz" events sponsored by Green's Sporting Goods with a number of fun and exciting activities offered for children in conjunction with the league doubleheader.
Bulldog Bites: Ferris State honored the academic success of various student-athletes at halftime of the women's game as part of Student-Athlete Academic Achievement Night ...... The loss evened FSU's all-time series' with Tiffin at three wins apiece. Tiffin also improved to 2-1 versus Ferris to date inside Wink Arena with its second road win over the Bulldogs in the last two years ...... The setback marked only the second time the Bulldogs have lost their league opener in the last nine years as FSU had won seven consecutive GLIAC openers prior to losses each of the last two seasons at home ...... Thursday's game also represented the debut of the conference's new scheduling policy this season in which the men play prior to the women in league doubleheaders.