Ferris women fall to defending national champions

Kelsey Wyman goes to the basket for Ferris.

BIG RAPIDS — The defending national championship team played like it on Saturday at Wink Arena.

Ashland held back a gritty Ferris State effort for a 95-69 Great Lakes Intercollegiate Athletic Conference women’s basketball win.

The Bulldogs trailed only 17-16 after the first quarter and 43-37 at halftime. The Eagles’ offense exploded for 40 points in the third quarter compared to 21 by Ferris for a 83-58 lead. Ashland had a 12-11 scoring advantage in the final eight minutes.

Forward Rachel McInerney had a huge game for Ferris (6-2, 1-1) against Ashland (8-0, 2-0) with 16 points and seven rebounds. Kelsey Wyman added 12 points and 10 rebounds. Shanya Huggins had 10 points and four assists.

“We’ve been really struggling from the free-throw line, but we shot well from the line tonight (22 of 25),” Ferris coach Kendra Faustin said. “We finished the game with some young players on the floor and got them some experience.”

Ashland, ranked No. 1 in the country in NCAA Division II, was led by Jodi Johnson with 23 points and Laina Snyder with 22 points and six rebounds.

‘They’re a great program,” Faustin said.

“They’re a fundamental team and they don’t make a lot of mistakes,” Ferris junior guard Riley Blair said. “Ultimately, down the stretch, that’s what happened. They took care of the ball a few more times than we did. They play well together.

“We just wanted to go out there and do what we do every game. In the first half, I thought we did a good job of that.”

The Bulldogs ended a seven-game home streak. They now have three straight road games beginning at Northwood on Thursday in GLIAC play.

“It doesn’t matter where we’re playing at, we play our game,” Blair said. “We’re very excited.”

 

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Posted by John Raffel

John is a sports reporter with the Pioneer as well as the Herald Review and The Lake County Star. He also coordinates the weekly Pioneer sports outdoors page. He can be reached at (231) 592-8356 or by email at jraffel@pioneergroup.com.

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