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Lady Cardinals Drop GLIAC Matchup Against Hillsdale, 67-49

Senior Sam Zirzow scored 14 points and had 5 rebounds against Hillsdale
Senior Sam Zirzow scored 14 points and had 5 rebounds against Hillsdale

UNIVERSITY CENTER – The Saginaw Valley State University women's basketball team played its third game in five days on Monday night (Feb. 2) against the Hillsdale College Chargers in a Great Lakes Intercollegiate Athletic Conference (GLIAC) matchup inside James E. O'Neill Jr. Arena.  The Chargers would end up walking away with the victory, 67-49.

Hillsdale grabbed an early lead in the contest and built it up to 14 points at the 13:02 mark with the score 18-4.

SVSU used free throws by junior Danielle Carriere and freshman Jessica Alexander to cut the deficit down to 10 points at 18-8 with less than 10 minutes to play in the opening half.

Carriere's triple at the 5:16 marker brought the Cardinals within single-digits at 23-15. 

The Chargers responded with a layup on their next possession, but a pair of freebies from senior Samantha Zirzow made it an eight-point game (25-17) once again with 4:38 showing on the clock.

Hillsdale ended the half on a 12-3 run to take a 17-point advantage into the halftime break at 37-20.

Zirzow led the way in the opening 20 minutes, scoring 11 points on 3-of-6 shooting from the field and a 5-for-6 clip from the charity stripe.  She pulled-in five boards as well.  Carriere netted five points in the opening frame.

The Chargers scored the first four points to open up a 21-point lead to begin the second half, but a 7-0 run by the Lady Cardinals, capped by Alexander's first triple, brought the home team within 14 (41-27) at the 17:47 mark.

Hillsdale responded to the Cardinal run by scoring 10 straight points to take a 51-27 lead with 14:23 remaining on the game clock.

The Chargers took their largest lead of the game of 27 points (62-35) at the 6:23 marker. 

SVSU used 10 consecutive points, five of which came from sophomore Emily Wendling, to make the score 62-45 with 3:35 to play.

Alexander scored the Cardinals' last four points of the game, but Hillsdale added a free throw in the final minute to make the final tally 67-49 for its third consecutive win.

Zirzow finished with 14 points and was named the Meijer "Player of the Game" for her performance.  The senior hauled-in five rebounds and dished out a pair of assists in the game as well.

Alexander (12) and Wendling (11) each finished with double-figures in scoring for the Cards.  SVSU matched a season-high with eight total blocks in the game, including a career-best four from senior Briana Graham.  Graham was active on the glass as well, as she had a team-high nine boards.

Hillsdale shot 40 percent (24-60) from the field compared to 27.3 percent (15-55) for the home team.  The Chargers bench out-scored the Cards by a 36-11 margin and scored 17 points off of turnovers.

Saginaw Valley returns to the court on Thursday night (Feb. 5) against the Lake Superior State University Lakers.  Tip-off is set for 6:00 pm in SVSU's O'Neill Arena.  The Lakers claimed the teams' earlier meeting this season by a final score of 76-61 in Sault Ste. Marie on January 15th.