FINDLAY, Ohio - Competing against GLIAC South Division opponents for the final weekend, the SVSU women's basketball squad traveled to the University of Findlay on Thursday (Jan. 5) for a league matchup. Using big second and third quarters, the Cardinals would come away with a solid 21-point victory, claiming a 76-55 decision over the Oilers.
The Oilers struck first and would maintain a lead throughout the opening 10 minutes of play. An Abby Duffy layup made the score 5-4 in Findlay's favor at the 7:11 mark and a Katelyn Carriere jumper at the 5:29 point cut the deficit to 8-6. Findlay's lead would reach eight points at 19-11 with 45 seconds left in the first, but Carriere would connect on a layup with 11 seconds showing to make the score 19-13 at the end of the frame.
Findlay opened the scoring for the second quarter with four straight points, holding its largest lead of the contest of 10 points with the score 23-13 with 8:40 left in the first half. The Cardinals would come back in a big way from there, coming back and posting a 24-15 edge in the second quarter. A Carriere jumper, Duffy triple and Emily Wendling layup cut the UF lead to 23-20 with 7:35 showing on the clock. A Grace Whelan jumper with 3:48 to play would give SVSU its first lead of the game with the score 28-27. An Anna Hall three and two buckets from Duffy would push the lead out to 35-29 with 1:56 left in the half. The Cardinals would carry a 37-34 lead into the halftime break.
Saginaw Valley posted another huge quarter in the third, going for 27 points while holding the Oilers to eight total. The Cards began the frame with 10 straight points to push their lead out to 47-34 with 5:38 left in the third. Wendling had six of those 10 points for the visitors. The lead reached 15 points after a Hannah Settingsgaard triple (52-37) and 20 points at 62-42 after a Halee Nieman layup with 1:12 left. A Whelan layup with 53 seconds showing on the clock made the score 64-42, which is where it stood after the third frame.
SVSU's lead reached as many as 27 points (74-47) with 2:47 left in the game after Wendling made good on a pair of free throw attempts. Mariah Cook made the final basket for SV, draining a jumper to make the score 76-49 with 2:13 left. The Oilers made a pair of triples to finish the scoring for the game overall, giving the victory to Saginaw Valley by a margin of 76-55.
Inside the Boxscore
- The Cardinals had four scorers reach double-figures in the victory.
- SVSU remains atop the GLIAC North Division with a 5-1 league record.
- Whelan posted 10 points, adding three assists, a block and a rebound in 14 minutes for the Cards. She was named the Meijer "Player of the Game" for her efforts.
- Wendling notched a game-high 20 points with a game-best eight boards, chipping-in with a season-high three assists.
- Duffy added 15 points and six rebounds for SV. She tied a career-high with her three assists as well.
- Carriere had 11 points with four assists, four steals, three boards and a block.
- Hall had a game-high six assists with three rebounds, three points and two steals. The six helpers matched a career-high for the sophomore.
- Nieman netted seven rebounds, five points, three steals and an assist.
- SVSU shot 53.2% from the floor in the game, hitting on 33-of-62 shots to post their second-best performance of the season.
- The Cardinals were 5-of-11 from beyond the arc for a mark of 45.5%.
- The visitors out-rebounded the Oilers by a 37-34 mark and registered 40 points in the paint compared to Findlay's 16.
- Saginaw Valley had 25 assists and 11 turnovers while the Oilers had 18 turnovers and just 13 assists.
From Head Coach Jamie Pewinski
"A much needed and welcomed victory today! We had incredible defensive intensity and that allowed us to get out on the break and put some pressure on Findlay's defense. The production we got from Abby Duffy, Grace Whelan and Abby Schlicher was a huge boost and we can't wait for their contributions to continue to grow as we get further into conference play."
Saginaw Valley continues on the road in Ohio, playing at Walsh University on Saturday (Jan. 7) in another league contest. The Cardinals and Cavaliers will tip-off at 1:00 p.m. in North Canton, Ohio. The Cards claimed an 80-72 overtime victory at home last season on January 3, 2016.
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