UNIVERSITY CENTER, Mich. - The Saginaw Valley State University women's basketball team played host to the Grand Valley State University Lakers on Thursday evening (Jan. 30) in a matchup between Great Lakes Intercollegiate Athletic Conference (GLIAC) rivals. The Cardinals used hot shooting and a balanced offensive attack to post a 91-79 victory over the visitors on Thursday evening (Jan. 30).
A high-scoring first half that featured 82 total points started off as a back-and-forth affair. After the Lady Cardinals built a four point lead, the Lakers fought back to force the game's first tie with the score 7-7 at the 16:25 mark.
Trailing 16-13, SVSU put together a 10-0 run to grab a 23-16 lead with 8:37 left in the opening half. The run featured three triples from senior guard Kristen Greene.
SV pushed its lead out to as much as 16 points when junior forward Samantha Zirzow made a layup to give the team a 39-23 advantage.
GVSU drew to within 10 points (45-35) at the 1:17 marker, but a good jumper from sophomore guard Katelyn Carriere with 40 seconds left in the half gave Saginaw Valley a 47-35 lead, which is where the score would remain heading into the break.
Both teams combined to fire-up 22 three-pointers in the first 20 minutes of play, with SVSU going 5-of-8 and the Lakers just 3-of-14 from downtown. The Cards shot 61.5% from the floor and 62.5% from three while GVSU was 37.5% from the field and 21.4% from beyond the arc.
Senior guard Kayla Womack led all scorers in the first half with 14 points. Greene added 13 points and five rebounds while Zirzow added a dozen first half points with four rebounds.
SVSU continued to lead throughout most of the second half and held an 11 point advantage with 10 minutes left to play when Carriere made one of her three triples to make the score 67-56.
The Lakers would score nine-consecutive points from there to cut the SVSU lead to just a pair at 67-65. Grand Valley would eventually take its first lead since the 12:01 mark in the first half when a Dani Crandall layup gave the visitors a 73-72 edge with just under five minutes left to play.
Saginaw Valley would get the lead right back and use great free throw shooting (10-11) and solid offense the rest of the way, out-scoring GV 18-6 in the final 4:55 of play to close-out for the 91-79 win.
SVSU finished the game shooting 56.6% (30-53) from the floor and 50.0% (9-18) from beyond the arc. The Lady Cardinals out-worked the Lakers on the glass, posting a 36-23 edge in total rebounds. The two teams combined to put-up 45 three-pointers. Saginaw Valley was outstanding from the foul line, going 22-of-24.
Greene led the way for SV, garnering Meijer "Player of the Game" honors after scoring 19 points and matching a career-high with 15 rebounds. It was her second double-double of the season and third of her career.
Womack also tied a couple career-highs, scoring 29 points and adding six assists. Carriere added 21 points, five boards and four assists. She was 10-of-10 herself from the charity stripe. Zirzow added 19 points and six rebounds for Saginaw Valley.
The Cardinal victory moves both teams into a deadlock record-wise in the league standings, as they both sit at 7-6 in the GLIAC (5th-North). SVSU improves to 9-7 overall and the Lakers fall to 9-8 for the 2013-14 campaign.
Saginaw Valley is back in action on Saturday (Feb. 1), as it travels to Big Rapids to face-off with Ferris State University in another GLIAC North Division contest. Tip-off is set for 1:00 pm at FSU's Wink Arena.