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(Press Conference: Head Coach Tracey Dorow)
Big Rapids, Mich. - The Ferris State University women's basketball team carried the momentum it built from a win over nationally-ranked Michigan Tech back to the floor as the Bulldogs stormed past Northern Michigan 74-44 in Great Lakes Intercollegiate Athletic Conference (GLIAC) on Saturday (Jan. 22) afternoon at FSU's Jim Wink Arena.
The Bulldogs, who used a 17-2 run to close Thursday's (Jan. 20) three-point league home upset over eighth-ranked MTU, picked up right where they left off against the Wildcats by scoring nine of the first 11 points. FSU increased its edge to 40-19 at halftime and NMU never pulled any closer than 24 points the rest of the way.
The win was the third-straight for the Bulldogs, who improved to 9-8 overall and 5-6 in the GLIAC.
The Ferris State win also avenged an earlier 75-56 setback to Northern Michigan in late December (12/19) at Marquette.
"You always worry a little about a letdown after a big win, however we were very focused today," said FSU head coach Tracey Dorow. "Northern's a good team, but we did a great job defensively.
"We're so much better now than we were when we played them up there earlier in the year," she added.
The Bulldogs used a balanced lineup to score the win over Northern Michigan as only two players reached double-figures. Senior guard Becci Houdek (Canton) totaled a game-high 17 points on seven-of-nine shooting and hit three treys to go with four assists and two steals. She was joined in double-digits by senior center Andrea Clancy (Port Austin/North Huron), who totaled 10 points and pulled down five boards in 16 minutes of action.
Ferris utilized all 12 available players in the game with all playing 10 minutes or more. Additionally, all 10 players scored for the Bulldogs and all but one had at least one rebound.
FSU shot 48.1% (26-54) from the field and made seven-of-12 (58.3%) three-pointers, including a five-of-nine (55.6%) showing beyond the arc in the first half. The Bulldogs also hit 15-of-19 (78.9%) free throws.
Defensively, Ferris State limited NMU to only 30.6% (15-49) shooting as the Wildcats struggled to get their offensive going much of the day. They made only eight-of-27 (29.6%) field goals in the opening 20 minutes and were only two-of-14 (14.3%) beyond the arc for the afternoon. NMU was 12-of-22 (54.5%) at the stripe.
The Bulldogs also posted a decisive 46-25 rebounding edge and had 16 offensive boards, which helped lead to a 15-6 margin in second chance scoring. Both teams turned the ball over 14 times apiece, but FSU produced a 18-12 advantage in points off miscues.
"I was happy with our defense both halves," Dorow said. "We're doing a better job of being active. The GLIAC is too good of a conference to play anybody one-on-one so we have to do a really good job of help side and we did that today."
Kellie Rietveld was the lone Northern Michigan player to reach double-figures with 12 points in the game as the Wildcats fell to 7-10 overall and 2-8 in the conference.
Ferris State's balanced attack led to 22 assists, including a team-high five from junior guard Kelsey DeNoyelles (Mt. Pleasant/Sacred Heart), who added seven points. Junior guard Tricia Principe (Kalamazoo/Mattawan) nearly reached double-digits with nine points while both junior forward Tiara Adams (Lansing/Waverly) and freshman forward Ashley Rando (Jackson/Northwest) scored seven points apiece as well. Junior forward Lindsey Pettit (Portland) grabbed six rebounds and had three assists with two steals.
Overall, the Bulldogs compiled seven steals and blocked two shots with NMU recording 10 steals and three blocks. The Wildcats had nine assists with four coming from Kelsey Campbell.
The Bulldogs will next face archrival Grand Valley State on Saturday, Jan. 29, in the "131 Showdown" at Van Andel Arena in Grand Rapids. The women's contest will be played first starting at 6 p.m. (ET) with the men's game to follow at 8 p.m. (ET). Tickets can be bought online by visiting www.131showdown.com.
Bulldog Bites: The Bulldogs need only one more win to notch their 10th victory of the season. FSU had reached double-digits in wins 13 consecutive seasons prior to last year when they finished 8-19 overall ..... Northern Michigan previously reached the NCAA Division II Midwest Regional Tournament a year ago ...... Ferris State hit 10-of-12 (83.3%) free throws in the final half ..... FSU's bench outscored the NMU reserves by a 24-17 count .... The Bulldogs never trailed in the contest .... Both teams totaled 18 points scored inside the paint.