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Cardinals Drop Battle to No. 5 Drury in NCAA Round of 32

Emily Wendling had a team-high 14 points in the final game of her career in a Cardinal uniform...
Emily Wendling had a team-high 14 points in the final game of her career in a Cardinal uniform...

The Basics

Score: No. 2 Drury 67, No. 3 Saginaw Valley 55
Records: Drury (30-3) | SVSU (23-8)
Location: Kates Gymnasium - Ashland, Ohio
2017 Midwest Regional Semifinals 

ASHLAND, Ohio - Coming off Friday's first round victory over the Lewis University Flyers, the Cardinals had a showdown with the No. 5 ranked team in the nation in the Drury University Panthers in the Second Round of the 2017 NCAA Division II Midwest Regional Tournament. After falling behind early, the Cardinals stormed back with a nice run in the fourth quarter to pull within four points. It was enough, however, as the Panthers would respond and close-out for the 12-point victory,67-55. 

Anna Hall got the game's scoring going early on, nailing a jumper just 10 seconds into the contest for give the Cardinals the early 2-0 edge. The Panthers bounced back, however, building a 14-point lead at the 3:51 marker with the score 18-4. SVSU would cut into that deficit, using points from Katelyn Carriere, Anna Hall and a deep three-pointer from Halee Nieman at the buzzer to trail by eight at 20-12 as the first quarter horn sounded.

Drury maintained a double-digit lead through most of the second quarter after an opening three-pointer to grab an 11-point edge. Layups from Hannah Settingsgaard, Abby Duffy and Carriere throughout the quarter brought the deficit to single-digits, but a bucket with 40 seconds remaining in the second put the score at 32-22 with the Panthers out in front. That's where the score would remain heading into the halftime break. 

The third quarter saw the Panthers maintain a decent lead, pushing it out to as many as 17 points twice, with the second coming at the 2:13 marker of the frame and the score 47-30 in their favor. A Duffy layup with 1:59 showing on the board brought it back to 15 points (47-32), where it would remain heading into the fourth. 

After Drury scored the opening bucket in the fourth quarter to take a 17-point lead at 49-32, the Cardinals went on an impressive 13-0 run to cut the deficit to four points at 49-45. That run featured eight points from Emily Wendling, three from Carriere and a pair from Hall. SVSU stayed tight with the Panthers after Drury brought the lead back out to 11, pulling to within five points two times on layups from Settingsgaard and Wendling, the second coming with the score 58-53 and 1:04 left in the contest. Drury took advantage of a couple turnovers and would push the lead back out to 10 points (63-53) with 41 seconds left. With time not on SVSU's side, the Panthers would close-out the contest with free throws and claimed the 67-55 victory.

Inside the Boxscore

  • Wendling scored a team-high 14 points for the Cardinals, adding four rebounds, a steal and assist. She finishes her career at SVSU with 1,973 points and 995 rebounds. She is the school's all-time leading scorer and career leader in free throws (482). 
  • Carriere added 12 points with four boards as well. She had four assists and a steal. She ends her career with 1,408 points, good enough for 10th on the all-time list. She is second in career three-pointers made as well with 161.
  • Hall registered 10 points, grabbing a team-best six boards while adding two steals and a pair of assists.
  • Settingsgaard also had 10 points, grabbing four rebounds with an assist.
  • Drury held a 40-30 advantage in points in the paint and 21-16 edge in points off turnovers.
  • Saginaw Valley grabbed 31 rebounds compared to the Panthers' 29. 
  • SVSU's 23 wins this season are the most in the NCAA era and their 17 GLIAC victories matched last year's program record. 
  • The consecutive appearances in the NCAA Tournament and Round of 32 is the first time ever for the program. SVSU has now advanced to the second round of the national tournament in all three appearances.
  • The consecutive 20-plus win seasons is the first time for the program since the 1986-87 and 87-88 seasons. The team also won the program's first two GLIAC North Division titles the past two seasons. 

From Head Coach Jamie Pewinski

"I'm extremely proud of this team and the effort they have put in all season! It's very difficult to say goodbye to our seniors, but there is so much for us to be thankful for. It's been an incredible two-year run where we reaped the rewards of the hard work that started six years ago. This team believed in the process that would make them successful and a loss to a very good Drury team does not change that at all. We are grateful for everything these seniors have given to us and done for us, and we will put those lessons learned to good use as we continue to build this program."  

Up Next...

The Cardinals graduate five seniors from the 2016-17 senior class, as Abby Schlicher, Katelyn Carriere, Shelby Weeks, Grace Whelan and Emily Wendling all wrap-up their careers in a Cardinal uniform.  

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