Big Rapids, Mich. - The Ferris State University men's basketball team recorded a 91-78 exhibition win over Grace Bible on Wednesday (Nov. 2) evening at FSU's Jim Wink Arena.
The Bulldogs, who played their first home contest of the year after an exhibition game at Michigan State on Sunday, battled back from a seven-point deficit only nine minutes into the game to grab a 40-36 halftime edge. Ferris State then outscored the visitors by a 51-42 count over the final 20 minutes of action.
The game featured six lead changes and the score was tied five times. However, Grace Bible cut the lead to four points four times in the second half, but could never get any closer.
The Tigers trimmed FSU's advantage to 69-65 with eight minutes to play before the Bulldogs answered on a 13-4 run over the next four minutes to seize control.
FSU shot 46.2% (30-65) from the floor for the contest, but allowed the Tigers to shoot 53.7% (29-54) on the defensive end. The Bulldogs did force 20 Grace Bible turnovers, though, that led by a 29-15 advantage in points off turnovers.
Junior forward Daniel Sutherlin (Detroit/Renaissance) paced Ferris State with a game-high 21 points and nine rebounds. He was joined in double-figures by freshman guard Dietrich Lever (Canton) with 19 points, junior forward Jerrell Sanders (Grand Rapids/Creston) with 15 points and freshman guard Drew Lehman (Toledo/Central Catholic), who had 14 points and four assists.
In addition to his 15 points, Sanders added six rebounds, five assists, one steal and a blocked shot while sinking three-of-four three-point baskets.
Overall, Ferris State made eight-of-20 (40%) three's and hit 23-of-34 (67.6%) free throws.
Grace Bible, which has won the last two National Christian College Athletic Association (NCCAA) titles, had three players socre in double-digits. Ryan Krombeen tallied 19 points and six rebounds in the losing effort while Matt Kurtz had 17 points and Randy Jefferson contributed 13 points.
The Tigers converted 60.9% (14-23) of their field goals in the second half to finish at 53.7% for the game. They were 63.6% (7-11) beyond the arc and 13-of-17 (76.5%) at the free throw stripe.
Ferris State utilized 11 different players in the contest and nine of them scored for the Bulldogs. FSU maintained a 34-17 edge in bench scoring for the night.
GBC had the upper hand in the paint with a 42-34 advantage in scoring, but Ferris State came up with 17 offensive boards to only seven for the Tigers, which helped lead to a decisive 25-8 margin in second chance production. FSU also outscored Grace Bible 16-7 in fast break points.
The exhibition was the second of three preseason tilts for the Bulldogs, who next visit longtime West Michigan foe Calvin on Tuesday, Nov. 8. Tipoff is set for 7:30 p.m. (ET) in Grand Rapids, Mich.
FSU officially opens the 2011-12 regular-season campaign with back-to-back games against NCAA Division I competition on consecutive nights as the Bulldogs visit Michigan on Nov. 11 for a 7 p.m. tilt against the Wolverines in Ann Arbor followed by matchup with Central Michigan the next evening (Nov. 12) in Mt. Pleasant.