Big Rapids, Mich. - The Ferris State University women's basketball team moved into sole possession of first place in the Great Lakes Intercollegiate Athletic Conference (GLIAC) North Division after a 77-59 win over league newcomer Walsh on Saturday (Jan. 5) afternoon inside Jim Wink Arena.
The Bulldogs' win was their sixth consecutive victory and seventh in the last eight contests as they improved to 8-3 overall and 7-1 in conference play under first-year head coach Colleen Lamoreaux-Tate.
FSU had entered the contest tied with Michigan Tech atop the GLIAC North Division before the Huskies fell at home to nationally top-ranked Ashland on Saturday afternoon. The Bulldogs will continue a four-game league homestand against the Huskies next Thursday (Jan. 10) night in Big Rapids.
Against Walsh, the Bulldogs seized control late in the first half and took a 34-25 advantage into the break. The lead quickly bloomed to 17 points only 3:20 into the second frame and the Cavaliers never climbed back within nine points the rest of the way.
Junior guard Sarah DeShone (Elkhart, Ind./Jimtown) paced the Bulldogs with a game-high 23 points in the contest and added nine rebounds in 32 minutes of action. She was joined in double-digits by junior forward Ashley Rando (Jackson/Northwest), who had 17 points for the second consecutive game and dished out a game-high eight assists in the contest. Also, sophomore center Hannah Hoffman (Okemos) added 12 points and seven boards for Ferris State.
The Bulldogs shot 48.5% overall for the day, including a 54.8% figure in the second half of action. They connected on five-of-16 (31.3%) three's and six-of-eight (75%) free throws.
Meanwhile, defensively FSU limited Walsh to only 35.8% shooting and the Cavaliers finished three-of-13 (23.1%) beyond the three-point arc along with 18-of-24 (75%) at the free throw line.
Maggie Berry led the Cavaliers with 21 points in the game while Lydia Corle added 12 points and Tracy Payne had 10 for the visitors.
Ferris State posted a commanding 45-31 edge in rebounding and the Bulldogs grabbed 17 offensive boards to only 11 for the Cavaliers, which helped lead to a 20-7 margin in second chance production.
In addition to the three players who scored in double-digits, the Bulldogs also received nine points from redshirt freshman guard Katie Mavis (St. Joseph) along with eight points and 11 rebounds by sophomore forward Kara Hess (Grand Rapids/Grandville). Mavis dished out four assists and had a game-high tying four steals while Rando added three thefts on the defensive end.
Overall, the Bulldogs finished with 10 steals in comparison to Walsh's 11 steals and both teams netted 21 turnovers with Walsh holding a slim 21-19 advantage in points off miscues. The Cavaliers also received 10 fast break points to four for the Bulldogs and the Walsh reserves outscored the FSU bench by a 13-8 count.
With the loss, Walsh fell to 4-7 overall and 1-6 in its first season of conference play.
The Bulldogs will host Michigan Tech on Thursday at 8 p.m. (ET) before facing Northern Michigan next Saturday (Jan. 12) at 3 p.m. (ET) to conclude their four-game homestand.
Tickets for both of next weekend's contests are on sale and can be purchased in advance. Please call (231) 591-2888 for more information or visit FerrisStateBulldogs.com. They can also be purchased online at StarTickets.com or by calling 1-800-585-3737.