Ferris junior Brayene Benner making good use of playing time

Brayene Benner (15) goes to the basket last week against Lake Superior. (Pioneer photo/John Raffel)

BIG RAPIDS — Brayene Benner’s playing time and starting opportunities have increased for the Ferris State women’s basketball team this season and the 6-foot-2 center from Frankenmuth is making the most of her opportunities.

Prior to Thursday’s GLIAC game at Saginaw Valley, Benner had started all 17 Ferris games. She was averaging 7.9 points, 6.4 rebounds and 2.2 blocks per game.

“I think I have to work on my consistency,” Benner said. “I’ve had a strong presence on defense. Even when my offense is lacking, I can pull through on the defensive end.

Ferris entered Wednesday’s game at 10-7 overall and 7-4 in the GLIAC.

“It’s been going really good,” Benner said. “We’ve had a couple of injuries. We have a starter with an ACL injury (Lilly George), and another with a shoulder (Adrienne Anderson).”

Benner helped the Bulldogs win 15 games and reach the GLIAC Tournament semifinals during the 2017-18 season. She saw action in 27 games during her sophomore season and played a key role off the bench. She appeared in 26 games and made two starts as a freshman in 2016-17 at FSU.

“I love starting and I love having a bigger role this year,” she said. “I love getting the minutes. I love being out there. I’m working on my consistency.”

In high school, Benner competed at Frankenmuth and averaged more than 10 points, eight rebounds and three blocked shots as a senior. She also played AAU basketball.

“We really want to play Grand Valley again,” Benner said, looking ahead to playoffs. “We’re hoping to win the North (Division). Grand Valley has some good girls. I got in foul trouble the last game. We had some players step up and get some big minutes.”

 

WOMEN’S BASKETBALL

Ferris 60, Saginaw Valley 56

UNIVERSITY CENTER — Ferris (11-7, 8-4) led 28-25 at halftime and 49-35 after the third quarter and was able to hold back the Cardinals (3-16, 3-9) in Thursday’s GLIAC win.

Ferris has won four straight.

Breyene Benner hit two late-game free throws to help Ferris put the game away. She had four points, 20 rebounds and three blocks.

Riley Blair had 21 points and five rebounds for Ferris. Shaniya Higgins had 13 points.

Ferris is at Northwood on Saturday.

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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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