BIG RAPIDS, Mich. - Saginaw Valley State University traveled to Big Rapids for a Thursday night matchup against the Ferris State University Bulldogs. The Cardinals carried a 34-31 lead into the halftime break and would use a big 25-12 edge in the third quarter in helping claim a seven point win over the Bulldogs, 71-64.
The opening quarter began with the Cardinals taking a 5-0 lead after Nieman drained a three-pointer and Wendling made good on a pair of free throws. That lead held at as many as seven points twice in the first quarter, with the second time coming after Wendling hit a jumper to put the lead at 13-6 with 4:38 showing on the game clock. The Bulldogs worked their way back to knot the score at 13-13 at the 2:53 marker. SV's Carriere hit a trio of free throws with just over a minute left to put the score at 16-13 but Ferris responded with a triple to tie the game at 16-16 heading into the second quarter.
In quarter number two, it would remain a tight contest throughout. The score was tied several times and neither team led by more than two points as the lead bounced back and forth in the frame. That is until a Nieman three-pointer at the buzzer broke a 31-31 tie to give the visitors a 34-31 edge heading into the halftime break.
Wendling led the way through the opening 20 minutes of play, scoring 18 points and grabbing seven rebounds.
SVSU had a big third quarter to open up a lead, outscoring the Bulldogs by a margin of 25-12 in the frame. After leading trailing 37-36, the Cardinals rattled-off 10 straight points to take the lead back with the count 46-37 as Wendling, Carriere and Nieman all accounted for points in the run. The Cardinal lead reached double-digits for the first time after Carriere drained a pair of free throws at the 2:03 marker to put the score at 53-43. It would reach 16 points at 59-43 when Nieman, Carriere and Duffy followed those free throws up with made buckets. The 16 point advantage capped an 11-0 run to finish the third quarter.
A game-high lead of 18 points (65-47) with 7:39 to go in the contest when Anna Hall hit a layup for the Cards. Saginaw Valley maintained the double-digit lead throughout most of the remainder of the half, holding a 71-55 lead with 2:30 to play after a Carriere layup. The Bulldogs would go on to score the final nine points of the game, closing-out a 21 point fourth quarter. It would not be enough, however, as SV closed-out for a seven-point victory, 71-64.
Inside the Boxscore
- Wendling posted 25 points and 11 rebounds for her seventh double-double of the season and third straight. She added a pair of blocks as well for the Cardinals.
- Nieman had 15 points and 10 boards, recording her first double-double of the season and second of her career. The 15 points and 10 rebounds are season-highs. She added four assists and three steals in the victory as well. She was named the Meijer "Player of the Game" for her efforts.
- Carriere added 15 points and six rebounds, with the six boards tying a season-high.
- Hannah Settingsgaard added six boards as well with four assist, a steal and block in the game.
- The Cards stayed hot at the foul line, going 20-of-23 in the game. SVSU entered play on Thursday ranked second in the nation with a free throw percentage of 81.6%.
- Saginaw Valley out-rebounded Ferris State by a 41-37 margin.
- The Bulldogs held the edge in points in the paint (36-32) and bench scoring (15-10).
- The victory marks the fourth straight for Saginaw Valley.
From Head Coach Jamie Pewinski
Saginaw Valley hosts Grand Valley State on Saturday (Feb. 4) in a 4:00 p.m. GLIAC North Division matchup in O'Neill Arena. The teams met earlier this season in Allendale, with the Lakers coming away with a 63-57 victory on Jan. 21. GVSU is coming off a 68-51 victory at Wayne State on Thursday. The Cardinals are two games ahead of the Lakers atop the GLIAC North Division standings.
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