Ferris women’s basketball came into their matchup with Saginaw Valley State University as losers of four games in a row but they put the losing streak behind them and beat the Cardinals 65-58.
Strong defensive play helped the Bulldogs end their losing streak, as the Cardinals’ 58 points represented the fewest allowed by the Bulldogs all season. It was also the first time the Bulldogs held their opponent under 60 points in a game this season. Ferris forced 20 turnovers as well, the second most they have forced all season.
“Our defense was consistent throughout all four quarters,” head coach Kurt Westendorp said. “Our defense forced them into 20 turnovers, and we really tried to take them away from their guard game. Our kids came out and competed, and I’m really proud of all 40 minutes of this game.”
Ferris trailed the Cardinals 20-12 after the first quarter of play. Freshman guard Kadyn Blanchard led the Bulldogs with four points in the quarter. Saginaw Valley hit 3-of-7 three pointers compared to 0-of-7 for Ferris.
Ferris’s 12 points in the first quarter against the Cardinals marked the fifth consecutive game they scored 13 points or fewer in the first 10 minutes of game action. The Bulldogs were 0-4 in their four games preceding their matchup with Saginaw Valley.
Three pointers started to fall for Ferris in the second quarter as they went 4-of-7 from deep in the quarter. Junior forward Zoe Anderson hit two of those and provided seven points in the quarter to help her team take a 29-28 lead heading into halftime.
“We did a nice job in the second quarter sticking with our patience and getting the ball downhill and moving the basketball,” Westendorp said. “The shots we missed in the first quarter, we knocked down in the second quarter. We shot the ball with our feet ready to go, and that gave us some momentum heading into halftime.”
The Bulldogs led throughout the entirety of the third quarter and led 44-41 heading into the final quarter of play. Anderson and freshman guard DeShonna Day each had 10 points for Ferris through three quarters.
Saginaw Valley kept the game within seven points throughout the fourth quarter, but Ferris ultimately held their lead and emerged victorious. The win snapped a four-game losing streak for Ferris and improved their record to 4-8.
Day led the Bulldogs with 14 points. Sophomore guard Mallory McCartney and Anderson pitched in 10 points, and the latter hit three three-pointers. No other Bulldog scored in double figures, but every Bulldog that played recorded at least two points.
Ferris will take on the Cardinals again Saturday, Feb. 13 inside Jim Wink Arena at 4 p.m.