A record-breaking performance from senior guard Teghan Thelen lifted the Ferris State University women's basketball team to a season opening 83-77 triumph over host Kentucky Wesleyan in the Lady Panther Classic on Saturday (Nov. 15) at the Owensboro Sportscenter in Owensboro, Ky.
The 5-6 Thelen nailed a school-record eight three-pointers in the contest en route to a 36-point individual effort. She added a team-high nine rebounds and four assists as the Bulldogs won their season opener for the fourth-straight year. Thelen was 13-of-19 from the floor, including an eight of 12 effort behind the three-point arc.
The Panthers jumped out to an early five-point lead only five minutes into the contest, but the Bulldogs came back and led 43-32 at halftime. In the second half, Ferris increased its lead to as many as 16 points with 7:54 left and held a nine point lead with one minute to go before Kentucky Wesleyan hit three free throws in the closing seconds to account for the final six-point margin.
Thelen's eight three-pointers surpassed former Bulldog Lori Young's school-record seven treys made at Michigan Tech back during the 1992-93 campaign (12/12). Her 36 points also tied for the third-highest single-game figure in Bulldog history while her 67% (8-12) effort behind the arc is the second best mark all-time at FSU.
In addition to Thelen's 36 points, the Bulldogs also received 13 points from sophomore guard Becci Houdek along with 10 points by senior forward Caitlin Hutchison. Senior forward/center Ashley Fleming tallied eight points on four-of-four shooting from the floor.
The Panthers were paced by Candace Garrett's team-high 26 points. Amanda Harnist added 16 points and 12 rebounds in a double-double effort with Jennifer Coronelli chipping in 11 points.
Behind Thelen's shooting touch, the Bulldogs managed to connect on 56.7% (34-60) of their field goal attempts, which included a 59.3% (16-27) showing in the first half. Ferris was nine-of-15 (60.0%) beyond the three-point line and a perfect six-of-six (100.0%) at the charity stripe.
Meanwhile, the Lady Panthers were limited to 38.6% (27-70) shooting and finished only nine-of-27 (33.3%) from three-point land. KWC was 14-of-17 (82.4%) at the free throw line and Ferris held a narrow 37-34 rebounding edge.
The Bulldogs did give up 19 offensive boards and turned the ball over 25 times compared to 19 miscues for Kentucky Wesleyan. FSU dished out 22 assists as Houdek and sophomore transfer guard Chelsea Simonetti both handed out six apiece in the game.
Ferris also had 11 steals and one blocked shot while KWC totaled 19 assists, six steals and four blocks in the outing.
The Bulldogs will try to keep their unbeaten record intact as they square off against another Great Lakes Valley Conference (GLVC) opponenet in Indianapolis on Sunday (Nov. 16) afternoon during day two action at the Lady Panther Classic. Tipoff is set for 2 p.m. (EST) at the Owensboro Sportscenter.