Contributed by Cody Carlson
Big Rapids, Mich. - The Ferris State University women's basketball team used a strong second half to record a hard fought 62-55 win over Lake Superior State in Great Lakes Intercollegiate Athletic Conference (GLIAC) action on Saturday (Jan. 24) afternoon inside Jim Wink Arena.
Ferris State jumped out to an early six-point lead over the Lakers in the opening stanza, but LSSU finished the first half on a 6-0 run to take a 31-24 lead into the break.
The Bulldogs finally regained the lead with 12 minutes to go and pushed the advantage to 42-35 shortly after behind nine straight points from freshman forward Rachel McInerney. The Bulldogs held onto the lead with clutch free throw shooting down the stretch to hold off the Lakers' comeback attempt.
With the win, Ferris State improved to 8-7 overall and 6-6 in GLIAC play while snapping a four-game skid. Lake Superior State fell to 7-9 on the year and 3-9 in conference play.
The victory was FSU's seventh-straight series' triumph over Lake Superior State.
Junior guard Katie Mavis continued her strong play by leading four Bulldog players in double figures with 13 points. Junior guard Destiney Robinson finished the game in 12 points while McInerney and junior forward Christina Branch added 11 and 10 points, respectively.
The Lakers were paced by former Bulldog forward April LaCross, who finished with a game-high 21 points and connected on 5-of-7 three-point attempts in her return to Wink Arena. McKenzie Edwards added nine points and Natalie Peterson finished with seven points to aid the Laker cause.
FSU finished the contest shooting 38.9% and connected on only 2-of-14 (14.3%) from the three-point line, although the Bulldogs did shoot an outstanding 18-of-19 (94.7%) from the charity stripe.
Meanwhile, the Lakers shot 40% from the floor in the narrow loss, but like the Bulldogs struggled from downtown by shooting just 7-of-26 (26.9%) on triples. LSSU finished the game connecting on 4-of-7 (57.1%) from the line.
The Bulldogs owned a narrow rebounding edge 35-33 with both squads coming down with 11 offensive boards on the afternoon. The Bulldogs outscored the Lakers 10-6 on second chance production.
Overall, FSU forced 18 LSSU turnovers and posted a 19-12 advantage in points off miscues, while adding nine steals. The Bulldogs added four blocks on the defensive end with three of them coming at the hands of senior center Hannah Hoffman.
The Lakers forced 14 Bulldog turnovers with 10 steals and two blocks in the contest.
Ferris State netted 12 assists on the afternoon with senior forward Ashley Rando finishing with a team-high three dimes. The trio of Branch, Robinson and Mavis each had two assists. Meanwhile, Branch and Hoffman led the Bulldogs with seven rebounds apiece.
Ferris State outscored the Lakers 26-22 in the paint and got 19 points from the bench compared to 12 points from the Lakers' bench. The game featured four lead changes and was tied five times on the day.
Saturday's contest was played before a large crowd in the second half as more than 1,300 fans were on hand for the men's game to wrap up the league doubleheader. It was also Special Olympics Day with local special Olympians competing at halftime and recognized during the day.
In addition, the tilt also served as Coaches vs. Cancer Day with Bulldog coaches donning sneakers to support cancer awareness.
Ferris State will wrap up its three-game homestand by hosting Hillsdale on Thursday (Jan. 29) at 6 p.m. FSU then visits Saginaw Valley State for a GLIAC tilt next Saturday (Jan. 31) afternoon.