Big Rapids, Mich.- The Ferris University women's basketball squad wrapped up the 2014-15 campaign on Thursday (Feb. 26) night as the Bulldogs fell to archrival Grand Valley State by a 104-73 score on Senior Night at FSU's Jim Wink Arena.
FSU was unable to recover following GVSU's hot start as the Lakers bolted out to the early advantage and never trailed in the contest. The setback came in the annual West Michigan rivalry matchup.
A large crowd was on hand as Ferris State honored a group of six student-athletes playing their final home contests. The senior quartet of Hannah Hoffman, Heidi Highstreet, Kara Hess and Ashley Rando were all recognized following the game in the Senior Night ceremony along with juniors Dena Droste and Destiney Robinson, who are not expected to return next year.
With the loss, Ferris State concluded the year with a 11-14 overall record and a 9-13 GLIAC slate. This year marks the 18th time in the last 19 years in which FSU has finished with 10 wins or more in a campaign.
Meanwhile, GVSU finished the regular season at 19-7 overall and 16-6 in GLIAC action as the Lakers secured a home game for the opening round of the conference tournament next week.
Senior night at Wink Arena featured a fast start by the rival Lakers as GVSU jumped out to an 18-11 lead going into the first media timeout.
The Lakers' attack didn't slow down as they continued to push the advantage and grabbed a 32-19 lead with 8:28 to go in the opening stanza.
Grand Valley State's hot shooting kept up throughout the half as the Lakers connected on three-straight triples to double up the Bulldogs 48-24 with 4:40 to go in the half.
GVSU finished the half shooting 66.7% from the floor and 64.3% from three-point land, giving the visitors a 57-35 lead at the break.
The start of the second half swung in the Bulldogs' favor as Hoffman scored eight quick points to cut the Lakers' lead to 62-57 with just over 15 minutes to play in the game.
It wouldn't be enough, though, as the Bulldogs were unable to get any closer with the Lakers posting the win after outscoring FSU 47-38 over the final 20 minutes.
The Bulldogs finished the evening shooting 45.2% from the floor while connecting on 6-of-18 (33.3%) three-point attempts. FSU netted a 11-of-14 (78.6%) showing from the charity stripe.
Ferris State was led in scoring by junior center Christina Branch, who finished with 17 points. Two other Bulldogs also finished in double-figures with Robinson adding 15 and Rando chipping in 13 in her final collegiate game.
Meanwhile, the Lakers shot a staggering 64.3% from the floor for the game and capitalized on 15-of-23 (65.2%) three-point attempts. GVSU also hit 17-of-22 (77.3%) from the charity stripe.
The Lakers placed five players in double-figure scoring with Kayla Dawson scoring a game-high 19 points. Piper Tucker added 17 points with Kat LaPrairie and Brionna Barnett each scoring 16 in the game. Barnett also added nine assists. Janae Langs rounded out the Lakers in double-figures with 11 points for the evening.
The Bulldogs were outrebounded by GVSU 34-28, but did hold the advantage on the offensive glass by an 11-7 count. The two squads finished tied at 14 points apiece on second chance production.
GVSU forced nine turnovers and finished with 21 assists while the Bulldogs were able to force seven turnovers. FSU totaled 15 assists, five steals and three blocked shots in comparison to Grand Valley State's four steals and two blocks. The Lakers outscored the Bulldogs 18-8 in points off of miscues.
Ferris State did finish the night with a 34-30 edge in points scored inside the paint.
In addition to the three players in double-figures, Hoffman added eight points in her final college game while Hess had seven points and Highstreet scored three points. Droste came back from injury to play five minutes for FSU in her last appearance as a Bulldog.