Women overcome blowout loss to split weekend series
December 5, 2005 —
The SVSU women's basketball team rebounded nicely from an embarrassment two days earlier to defeat Ferris State for the first time in six years 76-67 on Saturday.
After an 82-47 loss against Grand Valley State, ranked seventh in the nation, on Thursday night, the Lady Cardinals used the excellent play of three starters to come away with the victory, the first for SVSU in 13 tries against Ferris. The win improved the Cardinals to 2-4 on the season and 1-2 in the GLIAC.
Junior Bernettra Grayer, a 6'2" forward, scored 16 points and added 16 rebounds and seven blocks to lead the Cardinals.
"(Grayer) is a force down there," Cardinals coach Yvonne Killmer said. "She will be all year with her long arms."
Sophomore forward Kali Briggs played all 40 minutes and added 24 points on 11-for-15 shooting and seven rebounds, and sophomore guard Kara Kinzer shot the lights out in the second half to finish with 21 points.
"Kali is our workhorse, and she can do that, because she's in shape," Killmer said of the 5'10" Briggs, who started last year as well.
Killmer attributed the difference between Saturday's game and the loss to Grand Valley to two things.
"First of all, Grand Valley is head and shoulders above the rest of the conference," she said. "But also, we played like a team today. We played like we were capable of playing."
The Cardinals went down 15-8 after losing the ball several times dealing with Ferris' full-court press, but came back to tie the game at 15, take the lead at 17-15, and never looked back.
SVSU led at halftime 38-28, holding the Lady Bulldogs to 26.5 percent shooting (9-for-34) during the half.
Ferris came into the game averaging 82.6 points per game on 46.9 percent shooting, but were held well below their averages Saturday. The Lady Bulldogs shot just 29.1 percent from the field for the game, including 3-for-20 from three-point range while trying to come back in the second half.
The difference would have been greater had the Lady Cardinals made their free throws down the stretch. SVSU shot just 9-for-17 (52.9 percent) in the second half as the Lady Bulldogs fouled more late in the game.
"We talk to (the women) a lot (about free throw shooting)," Killmer said. "If the game had been closer, our poor shooting really could have hurt us."
Out of the five starters for Saturday's game, only Briggs and Kinzer played last year. Freshman guard Brittany Collins also logged 25 minutes, while junior forward Valerie Smith, who logged six minutes in relief of Grayer, has played at SVSU since being a freshman.
"This is almost a completely new team that is not used to playing with each other yet," Killmer said. "They were frustrated early on this year, but now they are seeing what they have to do to win in this conference. (The GLIAC's) a tough league."
The Cardinals host Northern Michigan, 1-3 (0-1 GLIAC) on the season, Thursday at 6 p.m. and 4-1 (1-0) Michigan Tech on Saturday at 1 p.m.