Winning on the road is not an easy feat, but it was exactly what the Ferris women’s basketball team was tasked with.
After a sizzling 5-1 start to the season, the Bulldogs cooled off a touch in December. They dropped three of six games and then fell at home to Grand Valley State University (GVSU) 72-68 Wednesday, Jan. 1.
The inability to win the close games plagued the Bulldogs in December and carried over to their matchup with GVSU. Ferris senior guard Riley Blair indicated winning tight games is the next step for her team.
“We need to make the bigger plays at the end of the game,” Blair said. “We play a whole game of high intensity, but those other teams are used to those situations and making game winning plays.”
Blair believes the women Bulldogs will close out the next close contest they play with a win, stating there’s “not a question in my mind about it.”
That close game hasn’t come quite yet, as the next two contests for the Bulldogs ended in victories of nine points or more.
Saturday, Jan. 4, brought the Bulldogs to Davenport where they coasted to an 85-74 victory over the Panthers. Ferris junior guard Adrienne Anderson led the team with 22 points.
Starting a five-game road stretch with a win was big for the team and Ferris women’s basketball head coach Kendra Faustin was pleased with the progress her team made.
“Every win is important,” Faustin said. “Winning is hard. We have been playing the best teams in the country, playing well and getting better every day and every Riley Blair game. That is our focus.”
Ferris continued their winning when they beat Northwood Thursday, Jan. 9. Anderson again led the team in scoring with 22 points and Ferris freshman guard Chloe Idoni chipped in 21 points of her own.
Playing on the road typically thrusts the away team into a hostile environment and gives the advantage to the home team. However, Ferris has a core group of fans who support the traveling team, something Blair greatly appreciates.
“We have an awesome fan base who come support us even on the road, so we always have familiar faces to play for each night,” Blair said. “That being said, on the road we do have to focus more so on minimizing the home team’s runs.”
With the season picking up and the Bulldogs in the thick of their conference schedule, games are seemingly coming fast and furious. Ferris senior guard Renee Sturm thinks her team needs to slow things down.
“Right now, our main focus is each game ahead,” Sturm said. “In conference play, the season starts to pick up pace and the biggest thing is to stay grounded in the moment and not get too far ahead of ourselves.”
The Bulldogs’ three most recent wins have them sitting at 9-5 overall on the year.
With a focused mindset and a few consecutive wins in the bag, the Bulldogs will turn their attention to the remaining games on the road trip. With the Saturday, Jan. 11, game at Saginaw Valley State postponed due to weather, Ferris will next take the court Thursday, Jan. 16, at Northern Michigan and wrap up the trip Saturday, Jan. 18, at Michigan Tech.