UNIVERSITY CENTER, Mich. - The Saginaw Valley State University women's basketball team returned home to O'Neill Arena on Thursday (Jan. 26) night for a GLIAC North Division matchup with the Lake Superior State University Lakers. The Cardinals were steady throughout, finishing the contest with a 72-51 victory over the Lakers to remain perfect on their home court (9-0) for the 2016-17 season.
The game began with the teams trading single point leads and the Lakers got a three-point advantage at few times, the third coming with the score 8-5 at the 5:26 point of the first quarter. This would mark the largest of the night for the visitors. SVSU bounced-back to score nine straight, compliments of four Emily Wendling points, a three-pointer from Abby Duffy and two foul shots from Anna Hall to take a six-point lead at 14-8 with 3:44 to play. Back-to-back triples from Lake Superior would knot the score at 14-14 with 2:00 showing on the clock. From there, Wendling connected on a layup and Lake Superior got two freebies with under a minute left to make the score 16-16. That's where it would stand as the teams entered the second quarter.
The second quarter saw the visitors hold a two-point advantage at 20-18 with 6:21 to go in the half. This would be the last time the Lakers would be on top on the scoreboard. Six straight points, four from Wendling, and two from Duffy, would give the lead back to the Cards and make the score 24-20 at the 5:00 marker. LSSU got to within three points three times, but Grace Whelan closed-out the half with a pair of made foul shots, as she scored the final four points for SV and gave it a 30-25 lead at halftime.
SVSU had a big offensive output in the third frame, scoring 26 points while allowing 19 for the visitors. A triple from Carriere, two Wendling free throws and two more from Carriere would push the lead out to double-digits and to 12 points (37-25) with 8:09 to play in the third. LSSU wouldn't get within eight points for the remainder of the quarter, and Hall would score the final four of the Cardinals' points to make the lead 56-44 after time expired in the third. It was the fifth time in the quarter that the home squad led by 12 points.
The Cardinals wouldn't look back from there, only extending the lead and reaching their first 20-plus lead of 21 points (70-49) after a layup from Halee Nieman. Katie Schultz would follow that bucket, capping-off a 12-0 run for the Cards to give them their largest lead of the game at 23 points with the score 72-49. The basket was Schultz's first career field goal made for SV. LSSU got a late jumper with 27 seconds left after that, but the Cards ran out the remainder of the clock and sealed the 72-51 home victory.
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