After winning the GLIAC North Division Championship last weekend, the Lady Bulldogs turned their focus to the regular season finale against arch rival Grand Valley State University.
Coming into the contest, the Bulldogs held a 19-5 overall record, but the Lakers showed they weren’t going down without a fight. The game came down to the final couple possessions; however, FSU managed to come away with the big rivalry victory by the score of 46-44.
In this low scoring contest, the lead changed throughout the match and the Bulldogs were trailing after the first half.
One of the players who led the way for Ferris State University was sophomore forward Nikki Arner who had an impressive 17 points in the game, which was enough to lead the game for either team.
Another key player for FSU was freshman forward Christina Branch, who once again netted the team high in rebounds with ten total, and also a fantastic performance by freshman forward Hannah Hoffman who finished the day with four blocks, which happened to be huge down the stretch.
It happened to be team defense which ultimately took the cake for the Bulldogs as the Lakers of GVSU failed to make a basket in the final five minutes of the game.
“The key to winning the game was team defense,” Ferris senior guard Tricia Principe said. “We just got the stops when we needed to.”
Largely in part to the Bulldogs’ strengthened defense, this also held Grand Valley State University to a measly 24 percent shooting on the game.
However, FSU still trailed with less than a minute remaining when Nikki Arner made a huge basket to tie the game at 44-44 with only seconds remaining. Senior Guard Tricia Principe was fouled on the next Bulldog possession to eventually give FSU a 46-44 win.
Ferris State University finishes its 2011-12 regular season campaign with an incredible 20-5 overall record with a 17-5 mark in the GLIAC conference.
“We’re all very proud of what we accomplished this season, but we know we have more work to do. We still have many games to go,” Principe said.
Next on tap for FSU is the GLIAC tournament, which the Bulldogs are slated as the second seed overall behind Ashland University (winners of the GLIAC South) who finished with a perfect conference mark of 19-0.
FSU will host the quarterfinals of the tournament against the seventh-seeded Findlay University Feb. 29.
Expectations are high for the Bulldogs as Pricinpe would go on to say this about the GLIAC tournament, “Our expectations are to win it all, but it all starts on Wednesday, and anything can happen in the tournament.”