COLUMBUS, Ohio - The Saginaw Valley State University women's basketball team hit the road for the opening weekend of GLIAC play for the 2014-15 season, taking on the Ohio Dominican University Panthers on Thursday night in league action. In a back-and-forth affair that featured nine ties and eight lead changes, the Lady Cardinals came up short and fell on the road by a final score of 61-58.
The Panthers jumped out to a quick 7-0 lead in the game and SVSU got on the board at the 14:11 mark when sophomore Emily Wendling made a layup to make the score 7-2.
Senior Shelby Herrington capped-off a 9-0 run for the Lady Cards with 10:35 left in the first half when she hit a jumper to give SV its first lead of the game at 11-9.
Junior Danielle Carriere made good on a three point play with 6:12 left in the period to give the visitors their largest lead of the game with the score 16-12.
ODU took the lead back but the score would be tied two more times at 20-20 and 25-25 after Carriere and freshman Jessica Alexander each connected on a pair of free throws. The Panthers would get the lead back, however, and carried a 28-27 advantage heading into the halftime break.
Carriere had 10 points in the opening 20 minutes of play while Wendling had six points and seven rebounds.
The Panthers built a five point lead at 32-27 but six consecutive points by Wendling gave SVSU the lead at 33-32 with 16:37 left to play in the game and two free throws by freshman Hailey Krewald extended the Cardinal advantage to 35-32 with a shade over 16 minutes left.
The Lady Cardinals held the lead all the way until the 9:11 marker of the second half when ODU knotted the score at 44-44.
The lead went back-and-forth from there and the score would be tied four more times.
After Ohio Dominican gained a 58-53 lead with 2:08 left to play in the game, Wendling made good on a layup to cut the lead to 58-55 at the 1:36 mark.
The Panthers added a pair of freebies after a turnover forced SVSU to foul, which made the score 60-55 with just 24 seconds remaining.
Senior Samantha Zirzow would grab an offensive rebound off a blocked shot, found Carriere on the perimeter and she drained a three to pull the Lady Cards to within a pair at 60-58 with 12 ticks left on the clock.
Forced to foul again, SV put the Panthers' Kacee Hockenberry on the line with nine seconds left. She would only make one of two, pushing the lead out to 61-58.
Following a timeout, the Cardinals were unable to get a last-second shot off and the time would run off the clock with Ohio Dominican pulling out the three point victory.
Wendling recorded her third double-double of the season, posting 25 points and 12 rebounds against the Panthers. It was her third 20+ point performance of the season as well and she was named the Meijer "Player of the Game" for her efforts.
Carriere added 15 points and seven rebounds, marking the third-straight game she has scored in double-figures.
Both teams finished under 40% shooting for the game, as SVSU shot 36.8% (21-57) from the floor and ODU 37.1% (23-62). The Panthers posted a 42-38 edge on the glass and had 12 bench points compared to eight for the Lady Cards. Saginaw Valley held the advantage in points in the paint (32-28) and second chance points (15-11).
Saginaw Valley falls to 4-2 overall and 0-1 in the GLIAC while ODU improves to 3-3 and 1-0 in the league.
The Lady Cardinals look to bounce back on Saturday as the team moves on to play at Tiffin University in a 1:00 pm matchup with the Dragons. SVSU claimed last year's matchup between the two teams, an 83-64 decision in University Center.