Big Rapids, Mich. - The Ferris State University women's basketball team took the floor for the first time in 2011-12 and gave NCAA Division I Oakland all it could handle in a 80-75 exhibition setback on Saturday (Oct. 29) afternoon at the Athletics Center O'rena in Rochester, Mich.
The Golden Grizzlies, who were picked to finish second in the Summit League preseason poll, led 45-37 at halftime thanks to a late first half run, but were outscored 38-35 over the final 20 minutes by the Bulldogs. The game featured 15 lead changes.
FSU cut the lead to a single point with 14:53 remaining, but could never regain the lead in the second half despite never trailing by more than nine points the rest of the way.
Ferris State had trouble containing OU's Bethany Watterworth as the two-time All-Summit League selection scored a game-high 32 points and made 10-of-18 field goals along with 11-of-11 free throws.
Overall, Oakland shot 50% from the floor to FSU's 45.9% showing, but the Bulldogs sank 11 three-pointers (11-28) while limiting the hosts on only a single made three (1-9). Ferris State was eight-of-nine (.889) from the line with the Golden Grizzlies knocking down 19-of-23 (.826) tries.
Sophomore guard Sarah DeShone (Elkhart, Ind./Jimtown) paced Ferris State with a team-high 18 points in the contest and also distributed six assists. She was joined in double-figures by junior guard Tricia Principe (Kalamazoo/Mattawan) with 14 points and sophomore forward Nikki Arner (Ludington), who also had 14 points to go with seven rebounds.
DeShone connected on a three-pointer to bring the Bulldogs within three points with 26 seconds left in the contest, but FSU could not get a defensive stop on the ensuing possession.
In addition to Watterworth, the Golden Grizzlies received 16 points by Zakiya Minifee and 10 from Glover Malika.
Ferris State outrebounded OU by a 34-30 count and had 16 assists, seven steals and a pair of blocked shots compared to Oakland's 20 assists, 11 thefts and five blocks.
The Bulldogs played a total of 11 different players in the game with eight scoring in their first of two preseason exhibitions. Three true freshman saw action for FSU.
Ferris State will host Calvin in its final exhibition game on Tuesday, Nov. 8, with tipoff set for 7 p.m. (ET) at FSU's Jim Wink Arena. FSU offiically starts the 2011-12 regular-season campaign on Nov. 12 at home against Lewis (Ill.) at 6 p.m. (ET).