Big Rapids, Mich. – The Ferris State University women's basketball squad took down the GLIAC North Division leading Saginaw Valley State Cardinals in dramatic fashion on Saturday (Jan. 30) with a buzzer-beater for a 57-55 win before a large home crowd inside FSU's Jim Wink Arena.
The game came down to the final minute, and the Cardinals had the ball with Ferris State in front by a 53-50 count. Sophomore guard Emily Evans leapt and stole the inbound pass and freshman forward Abby Nakfoor converted it into two free throws at the other end to give FSU a five-point lead.
However, Ferris State's lead evaporated when SVSU's Halee Nieman hit a three-pointer and forward Emily Wendling added two free throws moments later for the Cardinals followinga Bulldog turnover to tie the game up at 55 points apiece with less than 20 seconds to go.
The Bulldogs played for the last shot and Evans found her way into open space and drained a jumper at the buzzer from the right elbow area to give Ferris State the victory.
Senior forward Alexis Huntey turned in one of her finest performances, finishing with 20 points, 19 rebounds and five assists. Huntey led the Bulldogs in all three of those categories and shot 4-of-8 from beyond the arc.
Sophomore forward Rachel McInerney added 18 points and eight rebounds, as well as a game-high three blocked shots. Meanwhile, Nakfoor added eight points and six rebounds off the bench.
Evans finished with four points, three steals and two assists in 18 minutes of action.
Ferris State found its footing when they outscored the Cardinals 15-5 in the second quarter after trailing by six following the opening period.
Nieman led the Cardinals with 16 points while Wendling finished with 13 points and 14 rebounds. Katelyn Carriere also had 10 points, but was limited to three-of-18 shooting for SVSU.
The Cardinals shot only 28% for the afternoon and only led the contest for a little over five minutes. FSU led by as many as six points with nine minutes to play in the fourth quarter.
Overall, the Bulldogs shot 34% from the floor and made six-of-15 (40%) three's to go with nine-of-13 (69.2%) free throws. The Cardinals hit four-of-16 (25%) from downtown along with 15-of-20 (75%) at the line.
Ferris State slightly outrebounded SVSU 47-45 for the day and outscored the Cardinals 10-6 in second chance production on 10 offensive rebounds. However, Saginaw Valley State posted a 20-7 margin in points off turnovers as FSU had 20 miscues to 16 for SVSU.
Finally, Ferris State notched 15 assists, nine steals and four blocks in comparison to SVSU's eight assists, 12 steals and three swats. The Bulldogs outscored the Cardinals 26-22 in the paint in a game that featured only a single lead change, but was tied five times.
With the win, the Bulldogs move to 4-10 in conference play and 4-16 overall. The Cardinals fell to 13-6 overall and 10-4 in GLIAC play.
Ferris State will next host archrival Grand Valley State on Monday (Feb. 1) in league action at Wink Arena. Tipoff is scheduled for 6 p.m. (ET).