Contributor - Cody Carlson
Big Rapids, Mich. – A second-half run by visiting Walsh lifted the Cavaliers over the Ferris State University women's basketball team as the Bulldogs finished off a two-game homestand with a 82-79 setback on Saturday (Jan. 10) at Jim Wink Arena.
With the loss, the Bulldogs fell to 7-4 overall and 5-3 in GLIAC play. Meanwhile, Walsh moved to 10-4 overall and evened its league record at 4-4 on the year with its first-ever win over the Bulldogs.
The Bulldogs, behind the sharp shooting of sophomore guard Ally Christman, jumped out to a 13-point lead in the initial frame and went into the half with a 35-29 lead. Christman led all Bulldogs in scoring with 18 points in the contest, including four triples.
Ferris State pushed its lead back to 10 points in the second half with 8:30 to go, but the Cavaliers mounted a huge comeback to steal the win. Walsh outscored FSU 35-22 over the final eight and a half minutes of the contest.
After Walsh had trimmed the Bulldogs' double-digit lead, though, it was nearly Ferris State which pulled off a big comeback of its own. The Cavaliers used a 28-7 run to take an 11-point lead of their own with only 1:49 to go before FSU rallied.
The Bulldogs trimmed the margin down to eight on a three-pointer from Christman and then cut it to six on a pair of free throws from senior forward Heidi Highstreet with 90 seconds to play. The two teams then exchanged buckets before a free throw from Walsh' Allison Butler made it a seven-point game with 46 seconds left.
Ferris State cut the deficit to five on two free throws from junior guard Katie Mavis with 35 seconds left and then forced a turnover which resulted in a layup from Highstreet with only 28 seconds remaining. A foul from the Cavaliers gave Christman two free throws and her two make's made it a one-point game.
However, Walsh's Kelsey Funderburgh converted four free throws in the final 21 seconds and FSU could not get a potential game-tying shot up on the game's final possession as WU secured the victory.
Ferris State shot 48.3% from the field for the afternoon and connected on 10-of-21 (47.6%) three point attempts. The Bulldogs also went 13-of-16 (81.3%) from the free throw line in the contest.
Meanwhile, Walsh shot 41% from the field and poured in 11-of-27 (40.7%) from downtown. The Cavaliers finished the game 21-of-29 (72.4%) from the charity stripe.
Four other Bulldogs joined Christman in double-figures on the afternoon. Highstreet tallied 16 points with Mavis adding 15 on the day. Junior guard Dena Droste chipped in 12 points and junior guard Destiney Robinson rounded out the Bulldogs' double-figure scorers with 10 for the contest.
Funderburgh fueled the Walsh victory. The junior guard, who came into the game third in the GLIAC with an average of 18.1 points per game, led all scorers with 26 points and added five rebounds and six assists.
Walsh's Brooklyn Wooten also topped the 20-point mark on the afternoon with 21 for the game. Brittni Clopton added 11 points to round out the Cavaliers in double-figures.
Walsh won the rebounding battle 40-33 with Whitney Dabbelt bringing down a team-high nine boards. The Cavaliers had 17 offensive rebounds to just nine for the Bulldogs.
Highstreet led the Bulldogs off the bench with eight rebounds while both Christman and junior center Christina Branch had five boards each.
Offensive, Robinson led the Bulldogs with seven assists as FSU tallied 21 helpers. However, Walsh had 23 assists, including six apiece from Funderburgh and Jalynn Graham.
The Bulldogs forced 23 turnovers and held a 24-1 edge in points off turnovers despite 22 of their own. FSU also added 13 steals to 10 for the visitors, including four from senior forward Ashley Rando and three by senior center Hannah Hoffman. Graham tallied five steals for the Cavaliers.
Ferris State will hit the road for a pair of GLIAC contests this week as FSU first squares off against Michigan Tech on Thursday (Jan. 15) in a 5:30 p.m. (ET) league tilt in Houghton, Mich. The Bulldogs then visit Northern Michigan on Saturday (Jan. 17) for a 1 p.m. (ET) conference encounter.
Bulldog Bites: The Bulldogs outscored Walsh 10-2 in fast break points …. Ferris State had won four of its last five games coming into the tilt … FSU received 36 points from its bench to only 14 for WU … The lead changed hands four times and the score was tied twice in the back-and-forth contest …. Overall, Ferris State led for nearly 29 minutes to only seven for the Cavaliers despite suffering the loss … Mavis added six assists for FSU to go with her 15 points ….. Funderburgh and Wooten combined for 47 for Walsh's 82 points on the day.