Score: No. 3 Saginaw Valley 70, No. 6 Lewis 66
Records: SVSU (23-7) | LU (23-9)
Location: Kates Gymnasium - Ashland, Ohio
2017 Midwest Regional Quarterfinals
ASHLAND, Ohio - Competing in the program's second straight NCAA Division II Women's Basketball Midwest Regional Tournament, the SVSU women's basketball team competed against the Lewis University Flyers on Friday (Mar. 10) in the opening round. After running out to a big lead in the game and leading by 12 points as the half, the Cardinals overcame a big third quarter from the Flyers and secured a 70-66 victory.
The win puts the Cards in the NCAA Division II Round of 32 for the second straight season and third time in the program's history. The team now has 23 victories overall as well, marking the most in the NCAA era and most since the 1987-88 team (25).
Saginaw Valley owned the start of the contest, getting an opening jumper from Katelyn Carriere and carrying on to lead by as many as 13 points three different times in the first quarter. The lead first reached double-digits at 15-4 when Carriere hit a three-pointer with 5:32 showing on the clock. The final 13-point edge came when Grace Whelan hit a jumper with 2:07 to play to make the count 21-8 in SVSU's favor. The Flyers cut into the deficit by scoring the final six points of the opening quarter, making the score 23-17 in SVSU's favor after 10 minutes of play.
Lewis kept it rolling into the second quarter, scoring six more points to knot the score at 23-23 with 7:14 showing on the clock. The Cardinals responded in a big way, however, adding the next eight points to break the stalemate and take a 31-23 lead at the 3:43 marker. The run consisted of free throws from Halee Nieman, Carriere and two buckets from Abby Duffy. SVSU was able to push the lead back out to double-digits and carry a 12-point lead into halftime after a triple and jumper from Carriere, making the score 38-26 at the break.
After Saginaw Valley posted a six-point advantage in the first two quarters, it was Lewis that posted a 25-17 edge in the third frame to cut the Cardinal lead to just four points at 55-51 heading into the fourth and final quarter.
An opening bucket from the Flyers in the fourth trimmed that Cardinal lead to 55-53 and the contest would be tied for the third time at 59-59 with just 2:56 to go in the game. A Nieman three-point play, followed by a pair of Emily Wendling free throws, gave SV a five-point cushion at 64-59 with 1:46 to play. Four straight points from Lewis on a free throw and triple cut the lead to just a single point (64-63) with just 1:05 remaining. A jumper from Wendling and two foul shots from Carriere pushed the edge back out to five points with the score 68-63 and just 23 seconds showing on the clock. After a missed triple from the Flyers, they were forced to foul and Wendling sank another pair of freebies to make the lead seven at 70-63. Time would run out on Lewis, as the Cardinals would close-out for a 70-66 victory despite a made three at the buzzer for the Flyers.
Inside the Boxscore
- Carriere registered a game-high 22 points for the Cardinals, adding two assists, a steal and rebound. She was named the Meijer "Player of the Game.
- Wendling added 14 points and a game-high eight rebounds. She added a steal and block as well. She now has 1,959 points and is just nine rebounds shy of 1,00 for her career.
- Nieman also registered 14 points for SVSU, adding three boards, two assists and a steal.
- Duffy chipped-in with eight points and six rebounds, adding an assist.
- Anna Hall had six points, seven assists and four boards for SV.
- Lewis owned a 32-16 edge in points in the paint and 29-12 advantage in bench scoring.
- The Flyers out-rebounded the Cardinals by a slim 32-31 margin.
- The game featured three ties and no lead changes, as Lewis never led.
- The Cardinals were stellar from the line, going 26-of-28 while Lewis was 9-of-16.
From Head Coach Jamie Pewinski
Saginaw Valley advances to Saturday's second round game against the winner of No. 7 seed Bellarmine and No. 2 seeded Drury. Tip-off is set for 5:00 p.m. at Kates Gymnasium on the campus of Ashland University.
@SVSUWBB | #svsuwbb | @SVSUAthletics | #GoSVSU