SAULT STE. MARIE, Mich. - The SVSU women's basketball team has clinched a share of the 2016-17 GLIAC North Division Championship after posting a 60-51 road victory at Lake Superior State University on Thursday (Feb. 16) evening.
It marks the second straight divisional title for the Cardinals, who shared the GLIAC North title in 2015-16 with a 17-5 league mark. The victory over the Lakers gives SVSU its second straight 20-win season as well, which is the first time since the 1986-87 and 87-88 campaigns.
Saginaw Valley took an early 4-0 lead after four straight points from Emily Wendling. The first quarter lead would reach as many as seven points at 13-6 with 1:32 on the clock after consecutive jumpers from Abby Duffy followed a Grace Whelan free throw. The visitors would carry a 13-10 edge into the second quarter.
The Cardinal lead reached double-digits for the first time after Wendling made good on a three-point play and another jumper to make the score 25-14 with 4:10 showing on the clock. Buckets from Hannah Settingsgaard and another from Wendling made the advantage a first half high of 15 (29-14) with just 2:52 remaining in the half. The Lakers trimmed the deficit to 29-19, but two free throws from Halee Nieman with 11 ticks left in the first half put the halftime score at 31-19.
A double-digit lead would remain for the visitors until the 2:58 point in the third when Lake Superior got a triple to make the score 42-33. SV responded, however, and closed out the frame with a pair of foul shots from Wendling and a layup by Duffy, taking the game into the fourth with a 48-35 Cardinal lead.
Saginaw Valley led by a game-high total of 17 points with 6:59 to play after Nieman connected on a pair of free throws to make the score 54-37. LSSU drew to within eight points (54-46) with just 2:44 to play in the contest, but a Wendling layup pushed the lead to 11 points two more times, the second coming with the score 60-49 at the 1:07 marker. A layup from the Lakers with 13 seconds remaining put the score at 60-51, proving to be the final count for the evening.
Inside the Boxscore
- Wendling had another stellar game for the Cards, posting a game-high 23 points and a team-best six rebounds, one block and a steal. She earned Meijer "Player of the Game" honors for her performance.
- Duffy reached double figures in the contest as well, notching 10 points with four boards. She added two steals and was 5-of-7 shooting in the contest.
- Nieman added eight points with a team-high six rebounds, adding two steals and a pair of assists.
- Anna Hall and Katelyn Carriere each netted six points for SV, with Hall adding four boards and a trio of assists while Carriere had two rebounds and three assists.
- SVSU shot 41.5% (22-53) in the contest while the Lakers were 40.4% (19-47) from the floor.
- The Cardinals posted a 30-22 edge in points in the paint and 14-2 advantage in points off turnovers.
- LSSU's bench outscored SVSU's by a 21-13 margin.
- Saginaw Valley had a season-low six turnovers in the matchup as well while forcing 18 Laker turnovers.
From Head Coach Jamie Pewinski
Saginaw Valley hosts Northwood University on Saturday (Feb. 18) in the team's regular season home finale. Tip-off is set for 4:00 p.m. at O'Neill Arena. The Cardinals are 11-0 on their home floor this season. The teams met last on January 28, with SV coming away with a 72-54 road victory in Midland. The Timberwolves are coming off a 66-61 home victory over Wayne State on Thursday evening.
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