University Center, Mich. - The Ferris State University women's basketball squad put together one of its most complete performances of the season as the Bulldogs gave GLIAC North Division leader Saginaw Valley State all it could handle in an exciting 70-68 overtime setback at O'Neill Arena on Thursday (Jan. 19) night.
The Bulldogs nearly upset the league-leading Cardinals for the second-straight year as the lead changed hands four times and the game was tied 11 times, but SVSU used a pair of critical free throws with 6.5 seconds left in the extra stanza to pull out the win. The Bulldogs had a final opportunity at the buzzer but a potential-tying basket from junior guard Leah Humes bounced away as time expired.
FSU rallied from a 39-30 halftime deficit with a strong second-half start and led by as many as three points with 3:37 to go in the final quarter before Saginaw Valley State rallied to force overtime. The Cardinals outscored FSU 6-4 in the extra session as it remained even until the closing seconds.
Redshirt freshman guard Riley Blair tallied a team-high 20 points for the Bulldogs while junior center Rachel McInerney added 18 points and 10 rebounds in yet another double-double performance. FSU also received 17 points from Humes, who made her return to her hometown of Saginaw as did McInerney.
FSU shot 44% for the game and went four-of-eight (50%) from three-point land along with eight-of-12 (66.7%) at the line. Meanwhile, SVSU hit on 36.1% of its field goals and shot five-of-13 (38.6%) beyond the arc in addition to sinking 21-of-25 (84%) free throws.
The Cardinals were led by Emily Wendling, who totaled a game-high 23 points and pulled down 17 rebounds. Katelyn Carriere added 18 points and Hannah Settingsgaard totaled 11 points in the triumph.
Ferris State forced 21 turnovers and outscored the Cardinals 26-7 off the bench behind Humes' play. FSU also finished even with SVSU on the glass as both teams had 40 rebounds. The Bulldogs had 20 miscues, but still held a 15-12 edge in points off turnovers.
FSU overall finished with 14 assists, nine steals and six blocked shots in comparison to SVSU's 17 assists, eight steals and a single block.
Ferris State will return home to host Wayne State on Saturday (Jan. 21) in GLIAC play starting at 1 p.m. (ET) inside Jim Wink Arena. It is the final home game in the month of January for the Bulldogs before FSU opens a three-game road swing.