WESTVILLE, Ind. – The Saginaw Valley State University women's basketball team opened play at the Great Lakes Intercollegiate Athletic Conference Tournament with a quarterfinal matchup against Wayne State University Thursday in Westville, Ind.
Trailing 33-29 at the half, the No. 4 seed Cardinals took control in the fourth quarter and held on for a 69-58 win over the No. 5 Warriors to advance to the GLIAC Tournament Semifinals. The win pushes SVSU 's record above .500 for the first time this season at 10-9.
With the game tied at 49-49 with just under seven minutes to play in the fourth quarter, the Cardinals went on an 11-2 run to put the game out of reach. The SVSU defense limited Wayne State to just seven points in the final seven minutes, including a last-second jumper after the outcome had been decided.
"We were playing really well offensively in the first half, but the shots were not falling," SVSU Head Coach Jenny Pruett said. "We told them that they had to lock down on defense or we are going home and the team responded. We had legs at the end of the game, and we made some big steals late. We made the decision that we were going to let this game get to overtime."
Maddie Maloney led the SVSU offense with 21 points on 8-of-10 shooting, adding four assists and playing all 40 minutes in the win.
"Winning this game really does build confidence," Maloney said. "Anyone on this team can be hot on any night and that is what makes us so dangerous. You never know who is going to go off. We have confidence that whoever is on the floor, we can get the job done."
Maddie Barrie was perfect from distance, hitting three 3-pointers and finishing with 13 points and five rebounds. Kaitlyn Zarycki added 13 points and four rebounds, while Tori DePerry recorded 13 points and a team-high eight rebounds off the bench.
The Cardinals shot 27-of-54 from the field, 9-of-16 from deep, and 6-of-10 at the free-throw line, finishing with 16 assists, seven steals, and 12 turnovers.
Wayne State was led by 18 points and five rebounds from Kate Sherwood.
The Cardinals move on to face No. 1 seed and regular-season GLIAC champion Michigan Tech at 5 pm EST on Friday in Westville, Ind. The Huskies swept a weekend series earlier this season at SVSU, including a double-overtime thriller on Feb. 6.
"That one at home still stings," Maloney said. "We really do feel that we can hang with any team. We are ready to get after it tomorrow."