First year Ferris Coach Colleen Lamoreaux-Tate picked up her first conference win as the leader of the defending Great Lakes Intercollegiate Athletic Conference North Division Champions.
In her first season leading the Bulldogs, Lamoreaux-Tate began the year with a 1-1 conference record.
Ferris is 2-3 overall this year after defeating Lake Erie 72-61 on the road Nov. 29 and accepting a defeat against the Ashland Eagles in Ohio.
After picking up its first conference win, Ferris faced Ashland.
The Bulldogs flirted with toppling the best team in the nation, though Ferris inevitably fell 72-62 Dec. 1.
Ferris found themselves in an early hole against Ashland, trailing 40-20 going into half-time.
The Bulldogs bounced back in the second half with a 27-11 scoring run to bring the game within four points with 8:34 left in the game. Ashland called a game-deciding timeout, which allowed them to retool and outscore the Bulldogs 14-3 over the course of four minutes.
“I am very proud of the guts we showed them,” Ferris junior guard Sarah DeShone said. “We could have easily given up after we were down by 20 points, but we just kept fighting. We had nothing to lose.”
DeShone led the team with 20 points against Ashland, consisting of three 3-pointers and nine field-goals.
DeShone has been a weapon for Ferris so far this season, as she has averaged a team high of 19.8 points per game, which is third among GLIAC players.
With 20 or more points in her last two games, she has been a leader on offense, and as Lamoreaux-Tate put it, a “coach on the floor.”
Now that conference play has begun, the team has grown close quickly.
“I feel like we have become closer to each other,” junior forward Ashley Rando said. “Our bond that we have created within our team is unbreakable, and the chemistry we have with each other reflects on the courts.”
Even though it is still early in the season, the players and coaches alike know what they need to improve heading forward.
“I think we need to be more consistent when we become pressured,” Lamoreaux-Tate said. “We need to know when to take shots and what kind of shots we want and not get lax.”
Nationally sixth-ranked Indianapolis and the nation’s top-ranked, unbeaten GLIAC South Division counterpart Ashland delivered two of Ferris’ losses this year.
NFL Hall of Fame coach John Madden once said, “The road to easy street goes through the sewer.”
Lamoreaux-Tate will have her hands full the rest of the season, as the Bulldogs fight to defend the GLIAC North championship, though she knows her players will still have fun playing the game of basketball.
“These girls have a riot together,” Lamoreaux-Tate said. “It doesn’t matter if we are at home or on the road.”
Ferris hosts GLIAC foe Ohio Dominican in its first conference matchup Dec. 6 at home in Jim Wink Arena.