FSU Tops Urbana In Final Non-League Game

FSU's Lindsey Pettit handles the ball in Wednesday's victory (Photo by Rob Bentley)
FSU's Lindsey Pettit handles the ball in Wednesday's victory (Photo by Rob Bentley)

Big Rapids, Mich. - The Ferris State University women's basketball squad claimed a decisive win in its final non-conference game of the 2011-12 campaign as the Bulldogs beat Urbana (Ohio) by an 82-47 count on Wednesday (Jan. 11) night at FSU's Jim Wink Arena.

The Bulldogs improved to 9-4 overall this campaign and won for the second time in as many series' matchups against the Blue Knights.  FSU, which leads the Great Lakes Intercollegiate Athletic Conference (GLIAC) North Division with a 6-1 league record this year, posted a dominating 48-28 rebounding edge in the victory.

Urbana fell to 4-9 overall after trailing only 37-26 at halftime.  However, FSU outscored the Blue Knights 45-21 over the final 20 minutes in notching their third consecutive triumph.

Ferris State built a 14-point lead only 8:20 into the contest before the Blue Knights came back and managed to trim the margin to only three with 4:33 left in the opening stanza.  The Bulldogs closed the half on a 8-0 run to push the advantage back to 11 at the break.

In the second half, Ferris State opened the frame on a 28-7 run to push the lead to 32 points with 9:30 left in the contest.  It eventually grew to as many as 37 points before a final layup by the Blue Knights with 14 seconds to go.

The Bulldogs used a balanced effort in the win as all 11 active players saw at least eight minutes of time and 10 of them scored in the outing.

Freshman forward center Christina Branch (Grand Rapids/West Michigan Lutheran) paced FSU with 18 points in the game, including the first six of the second half.  She added seven rebounds and made six-of-nine field goals along with six-of-eight free throws in the showing.

FSU also received 10 points from junior guard Kylie Muntz (Dayton, Ohio) to go with nine points each from senior guard Tricia Principe (Kalamazoo/Mattawan) and senior forward Lindsey Pettit (Portland).  Senior guard Kelsey DeNoyelles (Mt. Pleasant/Sacred Hearth) and sophomore guard Sarah DeShone (Elkhart, Ind./Jimtown) both chipped in eight points apiece as did sophomore forward Ashley Rando (Jackson/Northwest).

Defensively, the Bulldogs limited Urbana to only 30% (18-60) shooting for the game.  The Blue Knights connected on five-of-19 (26.3%) field goals and made six-of-10 (60%) free throws.  Meanwhile, FSU shot 48.4% (30-62) overall and hit five-of-15 (33.3%) three's along with 17-of-25 (68%) tries from the charity stripe.

Urbana was paced by Ciara Geiger, who tallied a game-high 19 points but had only three in the final half.  DeVonyea Johnson contributed 13 points, but those were the only two players in double-digits for the Blue Knights, who were outscored off the bench by a 34-8 count.

Ferris State's 48 rebounds included 14 offensive caroms, which helped lead to a 14-3 margin in second chance scoring. 

Sophomore forward Nikki Arner (Ludington) tallied a game-best 11 rebounds for FSU while Branch contributed seven in the game.  Jessica Saffold had 10 boards for the visitors.

Both teams turned the ball over 19 times although FSU owned a 25-14 advantage in points off those turnovers.  FSU also outscored Urbana 34-16 in the paint behind the production from Branch.

Offensively, the Bulldogs also distributed the ball well with 19 assists on 30 baskets.  DeShone totaled eight helpers and also came up with three of the Bulldogs' 10 steals in the game.  Urbana had 12 steals and a blocked shot with FSU finishing with three blocks overall.

The Bulldogs will resume GLIAC play on Saturday, Jan. 14, against the Northwood Timberwolves with tipoff set for 1 p.m. (ET) at Wink Arena.  FSU defeated the Timberwolves by a 70-50 count earlier this year (Dec. 10) in Midland.  

Saturday's contest will be carried live by the Bulldog Sports Network and Sunny 97.3 with Rob Bentley and Sandy Gholston calling the action starting with the Meijer Bulldog Pregame Show at 12:30 p.m.  A live pay-per-view audio and video webcast will also be offered at www.FerrisStateBulldogs.com.

Saturday's game also marks the first of FSU's four Kidz Dayz events sponsored by Jet's Pizza.  All children in grades K-12 are free with a paid adult and a number of special kids activities will take place, including face painting, a bounce house, photos with Brutus the Bulldog and more.

Wednesday's victory came in FSU's final non-league game of the year as all 12 of Ferris State's remaining contests this season will be GLIAC matchups.