ASHLAND, Ohio – The Saginaw Valley State University women's basketball team earned a big early-season win over Great lakes Intercollegiate perennial powerhouse Ashland University in the first of two games this weekend in Ashland, Ohio.
After Ashland took a one-point lead with 26 seconds remaining, Tori DePerry hit the game-winning layup for SVSU. The Cardinals forced a late missed shot by the Eagles and secured a 73-70 victory.
"It was important for our team to understand how to win in a tough environment against a team that has historically dominated this matchup," SVSU Head Coach Jenny Pruett said. "We are going to be hard to beat when we play the way we played tonight."
The win is the first for SVSU (2-3, 2-3 GLIAC) over Ashland since Dec. 19, 2009 and the first on the road since Jan. 4, 2001.
The Cardinals held a six-point lead at the break after a buzzer-beating 3-pointer from Maddie Maloney. After SVSU increased its advantage to double-digits, Ashland closed the third quarter on a 10-0 run to tie the score and the teams battled back-and forth-throughout the final frame, setting up DePerry for the eventual game winner.
Kaitlyn Zarycki filled the stat sheet for the Cardinals, finishing with a team-high 25 points, 11 rebounds and six assists, while adding two steals and two blocks.
"Kaitlyn played so much more in control tonight," Pruett said. "The team was really responding to each other and putting everyone in the right position to win."
Maloney finished with 13 points, while DePerry added 11 points and eight rebounds off the bench. The Cardinals shot 26-of-58 from the field, 10-of-23 from deep and 11-of-17 from the line. SVSU finished with 17 assists, five steals, five blocks and 14 turnovers.
Karlee Pireu led all scorers with 30 points for Ashland (2-3, 2-3 GLIAC), adding 12 rebounds for a double-double.
The two teams conclude the weekend series at 4 pm Saturday in Ashland, Ohio.