Big Rapids, Mich. - The Ferris State University women's basketball team clinched at least a share of the Great Lakes Intercollegiate Athletic Conference (GLIAC) North Division Championship with a 81-63 road win over Wayne State on Thursday (Feb. 16) night in Detroit.
With the win, FSU improved to 17-5 overall and 14-2 in league play and owns a three-game lead over second place Michigan Tech with three regular-season contests remaining. Ferris State can win the division outright by winning any of its three remaining league tilts or via a Michigan Tech loss in one of its last three outings.
The GLIAC title is only the program's second in school history and the first since the 1999-00 campaign. The Bulldogs have also clinched a berth in the 2012 GLIAC Postseason Tournament.
FSU led by four points at halftime against Wayne State, but outscored the Warriors 44-30 over the final 20 minutes to notch the victory.
Sophomore forward Nikki Arner (Ludington) tallied a game and personal career-high 27 points for the Bulldogs while sophomore guard Sarah DeShone (Elkhart, Ind./Jimtown) added 18 points, senior guard Tricia Principe (Kalamazoo/Mattawan) contributed 15 points and freshman forward Christina Branch (Grand Rapids/West Michigan Lutheran) totaled 10 points.
Ferris State shot 47.6% from the floor and outrebounded Wayne State 38-33 for the contest. FSU held a 17-15 margin in second chance scoring and also forced 17 Warrior turnovers, which helped lead to a decisive 29-11 edge in points of turnovers.
The Bulldogs led by as many as 23 points in the second half as WSU fell to 11-13 overall and 6-11 in GLIAC action.
Wayne State was paced by Paige Sickmiller, who had 22 points in the losing effort. Phaebre Colbert recorded 13 points and Deanna Crumpton netted 12 points.
Deshone led the Bulldogs with 10 assists as she recorded a double-double effort in the game. Overall, FSU had 22 team assists to only nine for the hosts.
Ferris State also posted a dominating 42-22 margin in points scored inside the paint behind the play of Arner and Branch on the interior.
The Bulldogs are currently ranked sixth in this week's initial NCAA Division II Midwest Regional Rankings along with 26th in the Division II National Poll.
FSU will wrap up its two-game road trip by visiting Findlay on Saturday, Feb. 18, for a 1 p.m. (ET) league tilt at UF's Croy Gymnasium in Findlay, Ohio.