Sault Ste. Marie, Mich. - The Ferris State University women's basketball squad maintained its hold on first place in the Great Lakes Intercollegiate Athletic Conference (GLIAC) North Division standings with a 65-56 league road win over Lake Superior State on Thursday (Jan. 5) in Sault Ste. Marie.
FSU led 29-28 at halftime and then outscored the Lakers 36-28 in the final half to improve to 7-4 overall and 5-1 in the GLIAC. LSSU dropped to 5-7 overall and 1-4 in conference play.
The Lakers led by one, 43-42, with 12:31 to go, but FSU closed the game on a 23-13 run to account for the final score. Lake Superior State was down only five with 5:48 left before the Bulldogs scored the next eight points to put the game out of reach.
Four Bulldog players reached double-figure scoring in the victory. Freshman forward Christina Branch (Grand Rapids/West Michigan Lutheran) tallied a double-double with 12 points and a game-high 11 rebounds to lead FSU.
Junior guard Kylie Muntz (Dayton, Ohio) came off the bench and nailed four three-pointers to finish with 12 points while sophomore forward Nikki Arner (Ludington) also tallied 12 points. Sophomore guard Sarah DeShone (Elkhart, Ind./Jimtown) added 10 points in the victory.
Ferris State shot 38.1% (24-63) from the floor and made eight-of-25 (32%) three's along with nine-of-11 (81.8%) free throws.
On the opposite side, LSSU converted 36.4% of its field goals and hit six-of-15 (40%) from beyond the arc in addition to 10-of-12 (83.3%) free throws.
Lake Superior State was led by Cassy Schemberger with 15 points. Raven Trammell added 12 points in the setback.
Ferris State forced 22 Laker turnovers and held a decisive 19-3 margin in the second half in points off miscues. FSU had 21 turnovers of its own, but posted a 43-34 rebounding edge and grabbed 18 offensive boards with five coming from Branch.
The Bulldogs' defensive play also allowed FSU to come up with 16 steals, including six from DeShone, who added six assists in addition to her 10 points. Muntz totaled five steals on the defensive end while both Branch and freshman forward Hannah Hoffman (Okemos) totaled two blocked shots apiece.
Branch and Hoffman both earned starting nods inside as FSU began play with two freshmen in the post, but Arner provided a spark off the bench by scoring six points in the initial half. She finished making five-of-nine field goals and had two steals in 20 minutes.
Muntz played 23 minutes in reserve and hit four-of-seven three's to go with five steals, two rebounds and an assist.
Overall, the Bulldogs had 11 players see action in the game and nine scored.
LSSU finished with 14 assists, nine steals and five blocked shots in comparison to FSU's 20 assists, 16 steals and five blocks in the game.
The Bulldog victory came against former FSU assistant coach Justin Rees, who is midst his first season at the Laker helm and formerly was a Bulldog assistant under head coach Tracey Dorow from 2002-07.
The Bulldogs will visit Saginaw Valley State on Saturday (Jan. 7) for a 5 p.m. (ET) league tilt in University Center, Mich. The women's contest will not be available on Sunny 97.3 FM due to Ferris State Hockey coverage at the same time, but it can be heard live online via the Bulldog Sports Network at www.FerrisStateBulldogs.com starting with the pregame show at 4:30 p.m.