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Big Rapids, Mich. - The Ferris State University women's basketball squad battled nationally-ranked Grand Valley State to the wire before dropping a hard-fought 69-62 decision in the opening game of the "131 Showdown" on Saturday (Jan. 29) night at Van Andel Arena in Grand Rapids.
The Bulldogs built an eight-point first half advantage and held a 37-33 edge at halftime before the nationally 22nd-ranked Lakers came back in the second period. GVSU totaled 36 points in the final half compared to only 25 for FSU in notching the triumph.
GVSU led by as many as 10 points in the final frame before FSU pulled back within three with only two minutes to go. However, the Lakers made four free throws in the final 40 seconds to secure the victory.
FSU fell to 9-9 overall and 5-7 in the GLIAC with the setback while seeing its three-game winning streak come to a halt. Meanwhile, the Lakers improved to 15-4 overall and 8-4 in league action with the win before an announced women's crowd of 5,113 fans.
Senior forward Tiara Adams (Lansing/Waverly) led FSU with a team-high 14 points. Junior guard Tricia Principe (Kalamazoo/Mattawan) added 11 points with freshman guard Sarah DeShone (Elkhart, Ind./Jimtown) contributing 10 points in the losing cause.
The Lakers were paced by Brittany Taylor's game-high 16 points. She was one of only four Lakers in double-digits as Alex Stelfox added 15 points, Lauren Stodola tallied 14 points and Jasmine Padin totaled 10 points.
GVSU shot 44.4% (24-54) from the floor and made four-of-13 (30.8%) three-pointers along with 17-of-22 (77.3%) free throws. On the opposite side, the Bulldogs shot 47.7% (21-44) from the field and were six-of-19 (31.6%) beyond the arc in addition to hitting 14-of-18 (77.8%) free throws.
The Bulldogs turned the ball over 20 times compared to only 11 for the Lakers and gave up 11 offensive boards to GVSU as both teams finished with 28 rebounds on the night.
Grand Valley State was aided by an 11-of-16 (68.8%) effort from the free throw stripe in the final 20 minutes of regulation.
The GVSU victory gave the Lakers a three-game lead over FSU for third place in the GLIAC North Division standings with seven conference games remaining on the regular-season slate. The top-three teams in each division and the two teams with the next best records qualify for the postseason conference tournament.
The Bulldogs were forced to play stretches of the second half without senior guard Becci Houdek (Canton) and senior center Andrea Clancy (Port Austin/North Huron), who were both injured in the contest. Houdek was able to return to the lineup.
The Bulldogs will hit the road on Thursday, Feb. 3, when they visit Lake Superior State for a 7:30 p.m. (ET) league tilt in Sault Ste. Marie, Mich.
Bulldog Bites: FSU's Becci Houdek totaled nine points, seven assists and five blocked shots in a solid all-around game for FSU ..... Jasmine Padin added a game-high eight assists for the Lakers ....... GVSU managed 15 assists, 11 thefts and two blocked shots with the Bulldogs garnering 16 assists, six steals and five swats ....... The lead changed hands only three times and the score was tied four times ..... The Lakers did not take their first lead of the game until 13:32 left on a jumper by Alex Stelfox ....... The Detroit Pistons' popular public address announcer "Mason" was on the mic for the "131 Showdown" ...... Ferris State University welcomed more than 700 Grand Rapids urban youth students, family and instructors to the game as part of the 9-13 Initiative.