Contribution by Cody Carlson
Ferris State Bulldogs.com
Big Rapids, Mich. - The Ferris State University women's basketball squad battled back late, but couldn't catch the Hillsdale Chargers in a 68-55 Great Lakes Intercollegiate Athletic Conference (GLIAC) setback on Thursday (Jan. 29) night at FSU's Wink Arena.
The Chargers held a narrow 26-24 halftime lead over the Bulldogs before opening the second half on a 16-2 run to grab a 16-point lead with 14:41 to go. The lead eventually grew to 19 points before FSU rallied.
Ferris State managed to cut the margin down to as few as seven points with 1:55 remaining in the contest, but could get no closer as Hillsdale hit eight free throws in the final two minutes to secure the win.
The Bulldogs dropped to 8-8 overall and 6-7 in league play with the setback while Hillsdale moved to 11-6 overall and 7-6 in the GLIAC North Standings by virtue of the win. The two teams had entered the contest tied in the division race.
Hillsdale's two-point halftime advantage came despite the fact turnovers hampered both teams in the initial frame. The two squads combined for 25 turnovers in the opening stanza with HC holding a 9-5 edge in points off turnovers for the first period of action.
While Ferris State cut its turnovers down in the final half, the Chargers defense held the Bulldogs scoreless in the first four minutes of the second frame as Hillsdale opened the half by scoring the first 12 points as they moved to 6-1 on the road this season.
The Bulldogs were led in scoring by junior guard Destiney Robinson, who had 13 points in the contest. Sophomore guard Ally Christman and junior forward Christina Branch also finished in double figures with 10 points each. However, only six FSU players scored on the evening with senior forward Ashley Rando adding eight points and a pair of junior guards, Dena Droste and Katie Mavis, totaling seven points each.
Hillsdale was led by Brooke Borowski, who scored a game-high 21 points, including five triples on the night. Allie Dittmer joined her in double figures with 10 points while eight other Chargers scored in the contest. Three players netted eight points each.
The Bulldogs shot only 30.5% from the field overall and connected on only three-of-18 (16.7%) three point attempts. The Bulldogs were able to connect on 16-of-22 (72.7%) free throws in a game that saw both teams combine for 50 attempts on the evening.
Meanwhile, the Chargers finished the night shooting 40.7% from the field and hit on six-of-19 (31.6%) from downtown. Hillsdale finished the contest making 18-of-28 (64.3%) from the charity stripe.
The Chargers controlled things on the boards in the second half and outrebounded the Bulldogs 51-33 on the night. Hillsdale also had 18 offensive rebounds to the Bulldogs' 13 while posting a 13-12 advantage in second chance production. Branch led the Bulldogs in rebounding with nine and five others finished with four apiece.
Hillsdale standout Megan Fogt had a game-high 13 rebounds and added there assists while scoring eight points.
The Bulldogs forced 22 Hillsdale turnovers, which led to 17 Bulldog points off miscues. FSU also finished with four blocks and 10 steals on the night. Robinson led the Bulldogs with three steals while Branch blocked two shots.
On the opposite side, Hillsdale forced 15 FSU turnovers and found the basket for 12 points off of those turnovers.
Ferris State totaled 11 assists overall with Droste producing a team-high four dimes. The Chargers recorded 17 assists with Ashlyn Landherr and Morgan Blair both coming up with four each. HC also had six steals and five blocks in the game, which featured a pair of lead changes and was tied twice.
The Bulldogs continue a busy stretch by visiting Saginaw Valley State on Saturday (Jan. 31) for a 1 p.m. (ET) league encounter in University Center, Mich. The game can be heard live on Sunny 97.3 FM and the Bulldog Sports Network.
FSU then visits archrival Grand Valley State on Monday (Feb. 2) night for a league tilt before returning home to host Michigan Tech and Northern Michigan next Thursday and Saturday (Feb. 5 & 7), respectively.