Entering the NCAA Division II tournament for only the fourth time ever in school history, the Lady Bulldogs looked to prove something as they came in with the No. 2 seed in the Midwest region.
Sophomore guard Sarah DeShone knew it was going to be a big step in the program and said, “[The tournament] is a great experience, and this was our chance to prove something.”
On tap for the Bulldogs in the first round was Drury (Mo.) College who had earned the No. 7 seed in the same region on March 9.
FSU wasted no time in this contest by bolting to a 30-11 lead less than halfway through the first half. The Bulldogs had the game in hand and put it in cruise control, strolling out to an impressive 48-30 lead at half time.
Even though the Panthers of Drury hustled, in the second half the Bulldogs put the game away as each team managed to score 26 points on route to a 74-56 tournament victory, as the Bulldogs avenged their loss from Drury the last time FSU made it to the tournament.
Three players led the way for FSU as senior guard Tricia Principe, senior guard Kelsey DeNoyelles and sophomore guard Sarah DeShone put up 17 points each in the victory. Freshman forward Christina Branch also had a big night by adding a team-high eight rebounds along with seven points.
The following day Ferris had a tough match-up against the No. 3 seeded and 17th nationally ranked Wisconsin-Parksdale Rangers.
The game was close throughout and the Bulldogs were winning by double digit points at one point and owned a five point advantage mid-way through the second half before the Rangers took control by finishing the game on an unheard of 29-10 run to end the Lady Bulldogs’ 2011-12 campaign by the score of 71-57.
Senior guards Lindsey Pettit and Principe both ended up with a team-high nine points and budding star freshman forward Christina Branch managed to score eight in the loss. Sophomore forward Nikki Arner as well as Principe finished the game with seven rebounds each to lead the team.
“We met a few of our goals this season,” DeShone said. “We didn’t meet all of our goals, but it’s a step in the right direction.”
Principe, Pettit and DeNoyelles all played the last game of their collegiate careers and capped off a memorable run at Ferris with one of the best seasons in FSU history.
The Bulldogs finished with an outstanding 23-7 overall record and also recorded only the second GLIAC North division championship in the history of the program.
As for the rest of the team members, they aren’t looking too far ahead right now as DeShone stated, “Right now, we are looking at post-season activities and practicing hard to be right back here next season.”