Ferris women down Northwood 76-63

Northwood freshman Jayla Strickland (44) defends Ferris State junior Lilly George (44) during Thursday’s game. (Pioneer photo/Maxwell Harden)

BIG RAPIDS — The Ferris State women’s basketball team took care of business against conference foe Northwood to the tune of a 76-63 victory Thursday night at Jim Wink Arena.

The Bulldogs trailed by as many as 10 points early in the first quarter before rallying to tie the game 38-38 at halftime.

Ferris then took control of the game in the third quarter, outscoring the Timberwolves 24-13 in the frame and holding them to 30 percent shooting. Northwood was held to 35 percent (19 of 54) shooting for the game.

Adrienne Anderson led the Bulldogs with 24 points and Breyenne Benner had 17 points, five rebounds and four blocks, while Shaniya Huggins tallied five points, nine rebounds, and 12 assists. Lilly George added 10 points and three rebounds.

Hunter Viitala led Northwood with 11 points.

Ferris State shot 57 percent (30 of 53) from the field. The Bulldogs (5-3, 2-1) host Saginaw Valley State at 1 p.m. Saturday.

Strickland comes home

It wasn’t officially a home game for Northwood freshman center Jayla Strickland, but it sure felt like one. Strickland — a former standout on Big Rapids’ volleyball and basketball teams — played five minutes in front of friends and family in Thursday’s game and finished with one steal and one rebound.

“It was an awesome feeling,” Strickland said. “I loved seeing people come out and support. It was good to see some familiar faces.”

According to Strickland, the pace at which the college game is played in was the biggest adjustment to make.

“It’s a different speed,” she said. “It’s tough, but you just have to keep working. If it was easy, anybody would do it.”

The adjustment from high school life to college life wasn’t a hard one.

“It’s more independent,” she said. “You just have to be more responsible and take care of yourself.”

Strickland is currently a depth player for the Timberwolves but has been hard at work developing her craft.

“Right now, they have me at the five,” she said. “I’ve been working on my defense, rebounds, and stuff like that. My goal is to excel both on the court and in the classroom.”

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