MIDLAND – The Saginaw Valley State University women's basketball team traveled to play Northwood University on Saturday (Feb. 7) afternoon in a GLIAC North Division matchup. The Lady Cardinals outscored the Timberwolves in the second half of play, but it was not enough as the Timberwolves held the lead from the opening tip to the final buzzer and walked away with a 57-44 victory at the Bennett Sports Center.
Northwood opened the game on a 10-0 run and would not relinquish the lead. Junior Danielle Carriere's three-pointer halted the Timberwolves' run and put the Cardinals on the board at the 17:40 mark. Back-to-back layups by sophomore Emily Wendling then brought the Cards to within six-points at 15-9 with 15:36 remaining in the opening frame. The six-point margin was as close the visitors would get in the contest.
The Timberwolves led by as many as 16-points in the first half with just over six minutes on the game clock. Six consecutive points from SVSU, including four from senior Samantha Zirzow, brought the deficit back down to 10 points (32-22) at the 3:17 marker.
NU scored the final four points of the half to take a 36-22 lead into the halftime break.
Zirzow led the way offensively in the opening 20 minutes as she scored seven points. Carriere chipped-in with five points and two rebounds while senior Briana Graham and Wendling each recorded four points and three rebounds.
SVSU shot 27.3 percent (6-22) from the floor in the first half compared to 48.3 percent (48.3) for the T-Wolves. The Lady Cardinals, however, got to the line 10 times and converted on nine of those attempts. Northwood scored 12 points off of nine Cardinal turnovers and scored 16 of its 36 points in the paint.
The Lady Cardinals got off to a good start in the second half, scoring the first six points to pull within single-digits at 36-28 at the 17:18 marker.
SVSU later responded to six consecutive points by Northwood with a 7-0 run to make the score 42-35 with just over 10 minutes to play in the second half. Carriere got the run started with her second triple of the afternoon.
Graham kept the visitors in the game by scoring seven straight points during the second half and pulled the Cards within seven a pair times. The final single-digit deficit the Cards faced was at the 7:12 mark following a Graham free throw to make the score 47-38. Northwood got a three-point play on the next possession and led by double-digits the remainder of the game.
Graham scored a team-high 12 points on a perfect 3-for-3 from the floor and a 6-for-8 clip from the charity stripe. The senior had seven rebounds, a steal and a block in the contest. She was named the Meijer "Player of the Game" for the first time this season.
Zirzow finished in double-figures as well, scoring 10 points and grabbing seven boards. Wendling chipped-in with eight points and five rebounds while Carriere also netted eight points and finished with six boards and three assists.
Northwood out-scored SVSU by a 26-16 margin in the paint and forced 19 Cardinal turnovers, which turned into 16 points for the home team.
Saginaw Valley (7-16, 2-15 GLIAC) remains on the road as the Lady Cardinals travel to the Upper Peninsula for a GLIAC North Division matchup against Northern Michigan University on Thursday (Feb. 14) evening. Tip-off is scheduled for 5:30 pm in Marquette. The Wildcats claimed the earlier matchup this season by a score of 62-46.