October 30, 2013

Ferris State Women's Basketball Drops Preseason Game At Nationally-Ranked Michigan State

Big Rapids, Mich. - The Ferris State University women's basketball team jumped out to the early lead, but a big Michigan State run fueled the Spartans to a 100-52 exhibition win over the Bulldogs on Wednesday (Oct. 30) night at the Breslin Center in East Lansing.

The preseason 18th-ranked NCAA Division I Spartans went on a 24-0 first half run after the Bulldogs had grabbed an early 8-4 lead to seize control in the second-ever matchup between the two schools.

Michigan State shot an impressive 52% from the three-point stripe while knocking down 13 treys and the bigger Spartan lineup owned a decisive 55-23 rebounding advantage in beating Ferris State in its preseason debut.

Ferrris State used a pair of early layups from redshirt sophomore Dena Droste along with a basket from sophomore forward Christina Branch and a pair of free throws by two-time All-America senior guard Sarah DeShone in building the early lead.  However, those were the only two points DeShone scored in the first half.

Following the early Bulldog edge, the Spartans got on a roll.  Their 24-straight points opened up a 28-8 edge midway thru the opening period before they eventually took a 54-23 margin at the break.  MSU hit five three-pointers in the 24-point run, including three by Tori Jankoska, who led all scorers in the contest with 27 points on 10-of-16 shooting while making five-of-10 three's.

The Bulldogs battled throughout the night and DeShone eventually caught fire in the second half as she finished with a team-high 18 points, which included a four-of-seven effort from downtown.  She was the lone Bulldog player to reach double-digits though with Michigan State placing five in double-figure scoring.

Besides Jankoska's 27 points, the Spartans also received 18 points from Annalise Pickrel along with 13 by Aerial Powers and 10 each from Kiana Johnson and Klarissa Bell.

In addition to DeShone's 18 points, Ferris State's Kara Hess and Droste each contributed seven each and newcomer April Watson chipped in with six points.

The Spartans' rebounding advantage included 19 offensive boards, which led to an impressive 28-0 margin in second chance production for the game.  MSU also outscored FSU 33-20 in points off turnovers despite the fact both squads had 20 apiece in the game.

Ferris State was limited to 33.9% shooting for the night and FSU finished four-of-16 (25%) from three-point land to go with a 10-of-18 (55.6%) showing at the free throw line.  Meanwhile, MSU was 52.2% from the floor and added 17-of-25 (68%) free throws in addition to a 13-of-25 (52%) effort from long range.

Branch had eight rebounds to pace the Bulldogs on the glass in her first game back after a season-ending injury a year ago with both DeShone and senior Ashley Rando adding three each.  DeShone also came away with a game-high four steals and added four assists in the setback.  Sophomore guard Katie Mavis dished out a game-best five helpers off the bench for the Bulldogs, who totaled 12 assists on the night.

On the Michigan State side, Becca Mills had a contest-high nine rebounds with the Spartans also receiving seven each from three different players.  MSU totaled 19 assists and both teams managed 11 steals for the night.

A crowd of 3,287 fans were on hand as the Bulldogs visited the Breslin Center for the first time since falling 68-47 in exhibition action prior to the 2006-07 campaign.  FSU eventually went on to reach the NCAA Division II Sweet Sixteen for the only time in school history during the same season.

Overall, the lead changed hands three times, but was never tied.  Ferris State did manage to get 12 players in the exhibition action with nine different players reaching the scoring column.
 A total of six players saw their first action in a Bulldog uniform, including three true freshmen.

Michigan State posted a 25-9 overall record a year ago and is a returning NCAA Division I National Tournament team under seventh-year head coach Suzy Merchant.  Meanwhile, the Bulldogs are coming off a 13-13 overall mark a year ago in the intial season for head coach Colleen Lamoreaux-Tate in a year in which the Bulldogs suffered a number of key injuries.

The contest marked the lone official exhibition contest for the Bulldogs this year.  FSU officially opens the 2013-14 campaign on Nov. 23-24 at the United Electric Tipoff Classic hosted by Bellarmine University in Louisville, Ky.  Ferris State opens the season against Nova Southeastern at the event on Nov. 23 followed by a matchup against the host Knights the following day.

The Bulldogs' 2013-14 home opener is not until Dec. 5 when Lake Erie visits Wink Arena. The game will also be the school's first Great Lakes Intercollegiate Athletic Conference (GLIAC) tilt of the year.

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