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Ferris State University

Ferris State punches ticket to first-ever Elite Eight with win over GLIAC rival GVSU

ALLENDALE — On Monday night, the Ferris State Bulldogs women’s basketball team knocked off top-seeded rival Grand Valley State 49-46 in the NCAA D2 Sweet Sixteen, claiming the program’s first-ever regional title in the process.

The Elite Eight is set for March 25-29 in St. Joseph, Missouri. Matchups and game times will be announced by the NCAA following the completion of regional final play on Tuesday.

Monday night’s matchup was a defensive battle throughout, with neither team managing to score the ball with ease. Ferris State held Grand Valley State to just 30% shooting from the field for the game.


The Bulldogs led by a point at the end of the first quarter, but the Lakers started the second quarter on a 7-0 run to take an 18-12 lead. Ferris would respond with a run of their own, closing the first half on a 13-3 stretch that sent them into the locker room at halftime with a 25-21 lead.

Ferris State carried that momentum into the third quarter, building their lead to as much as 11 points before Grand Valley State mounted another comeback, pulling to within two points at the end of the third quarter.

The fourth quarter saw the teams swap baskets back and forth, with the Lakers pulling within a point at 45-44 with about two minutes to play, but a clutch three-pointer by Kenzie Bowers that just beat the shot clock allowed the Bulldogs enough breathing room to hang on for the victory. The Lakers had one last chance to tie the game up, down three with one second left, but the inbounds pass was intercepted by the Bulldogs, setting off a wild celebration at mid-court.

“The key was getting rebounds when we needed to get rebounds, you know, and just enough stops,” Ferris State head coach Kurt Westendorp said after the game. “We didn’t stop them every single time down the stretch, but just the one that we needed, and these guys are champions tonight.”


“I think our team does a great job at being gritty, and staying composed in tough times,” Ferris State senior Chloe Idoni said. “Obviously, we took a hit, they went on a run, and we responded, and we just had that lead, and we kept it, and I’m really proud of us. We really know how to play with adversity, and to overcome that.”

The win was led by sophomore Mya Hiram with 13 points, followed by junior Kadyn Blanchard with 12, and seniors Mallory McCartney and Idoni with eight points apiece.

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