UNIVERSITY CENTER – The Saginaw Valley State University women's basketball avenged an early season loss to Lake Superior State University on Thursday night (Feb. 5) by defeating the Lakers by a final score of 67-49 inside James E. O'Neill Jr. Arena in a Great Lakes Intercollegiate Athletic Conference (GLIAC) North Division matchup.
The Lakers won the first meeting in Sault Ste. Marie by 15 points, but the Lady Cardinals used a pair of 20-point scoring performances from Emily Wendling and Samantha Zirzow to claim the victory. Wendling and Zirzow became the first pair of 20-point scorers for SVSU since January 30th of last season against Grand Valley State.
An LSSU layup gave the visitors an 11-9 lead with 13:19 remaining on the clock in the first frame. That was the last lead the Lakers would have for the remainder of the contest.
A pair of free throws from freshman Jessica Alexander and a three-point play by Wendling gave SVSU a 14-11 lead at the 12:15 marker.
Sophomore Abby Schlicher's triple put the home team up by a 28-20 margin with four minutes remaining in the half. Zirzow then made good on one-of-two free throws to give SVSU its largest lead of the first half at 29-20 with 3:14 showing on the clock.
A Wendling layup with 29 seconds left rounded-out the scoring in the opening half and gave the Lady Cardinals a 33-25 lead heading into the halftime break.
Wendling led the way in the opening 20 minutes, scoring 11 points on 4-of-7 shooting and hauled-in six rebounds. Zirzow netted 10 points and had three rebounds and three assists.
SVSU shot 42.3 percent (11-26) from the floor compared to 36.7 percent (11-30) for the Lakers. The Cardinals assisted on 10 of their 11 field goals in the half.
The Lady Cardinals took their first double-digit lead of the game following a Carierre triple to make the score 51-39 with 8:25 to play in the second half. A 6-0 run, capped by a pair of freebies from Zirzow, gave the home team its largest lead of the game of 19 points (63-44) at the 2:47 marker.
Zirzow's jumper at the 1:26 mark made the score 67-49, which is what the final score would read as the clock hit zero.
Wendling was named the Meijer "Player of the Game," as she recorded her ninth double-double of the season after finishing with 20 points and 10 rebounds. She scored 30 points and pulled down 13 boards in the teams' first meeting back in January.
Zirzow chipped-in with a season-high 20 points, six rebounds, and four assists in the game. Alexander netted eight points, including going a perfect 6-for-6 from the charity stripe. Carierre had six points and matched a career-high with four assists while senior Shelby Herrington had six points and six boards.
Saginaw Valley returns to action on Saturday afternoon (Feb. 7) as it makes the short trip to Midland for a matchup with GLIAC rival Northwood University (13-9, 9-7 GLIAC). Tip-off is scheduled for 1:00 pm at the Bennett Sports Center. The Timberwolves claimed the first meeting this year by a final score of 64-61 at O'Neill Arena on January 17th.