Big Rapids, Mich. - The Ferris State University women's basketball team dropped its 2013-14 season opener on the road versus Bellarmine (Ky.) by a 64-61 score at the United Electric Tipoff Classic on Saturday (Nov. 23) in Louisville, Ky.
The host Knights jumped out to a 35-31 halftime lead and held on to beat the Bulldogs in FSU's first official contest of the 2013-14 campaign.
The contest was tied with 1:45 to play in the second half before the Knights hit a free throw to take a one-point lead. FSU fouled with nine seconds to play and Bellarmine's Mackenzie Martinez made both free throws to make it a three-point contest.
A potential game-tying three-pointer from Bulldog senior guard Sarah DeShone came up short in the closing seconds as the Knights preserved the win.
DeShone paced the Bulldogs with a game-high 20 points in the contest, but was the lone FSU player to reach double-figure scoring. FSU also received eight points from newcomers April Watson and Dena Droste in addition to six points and a squad-best seven rebounds from sophomore forward/center Christina Branch.
The Knights were led by Darion Hutchinson's team-high 19 points and 11 rebounds. They also received 12 points from Mercedes Cox and 10 by Sarah Galvin in winning the contest.
Bellarmine shot 40.7% from the floor and made four-of-22 (18.2%) three's along with a 16-of-25 (64%) showing at the free throw line. Meanwhile, Ferris State finished with a 37.5% shooting figure and hit three-of-12 (25%) treys in addition to 10-of-18 (55.6%) attempts at the charity stripe.
Ferris State did own a 43-36 rebounding edge, which included 21 offensive boards, but the Bulldogs had 19 turnovers in the game to 16 for the Knights.
DeShone also had four assists for the Bulldogs while Destiny Robinson tallied three steals in the setback.
Bellarmine picked up its first win of the season as they improved to 1-2 on the year. A year ago, the Knights finished with a 19-11 overall record.
Ferris State will wrap up action in the United Electric Tipoff Classic with another tough matchup on Sunday (Nov. 24) as FSU squares off against nationally fifth-ranked Nova Southeastern (Fla.) starting at 1 p.m. (ET) in Louisville. This year marks the Bulldogs' second consecutive appearance at the season-opening tournament.