Big Rapids, Mich. - The Ferris State University men's basketball squad led by as many as eight points before longtime West Michigan opponent Calvin came back to beat the Bulldogs by a 79-72 score in exhibition play on Tuesday (Nov. 8) evening at the Van Noord Arena in Grand Rapids.
The Bulldogs jumped out to an eight-point edge with 7:37 to go in the first half before the Knights battled back to grab a 33-30 halftime lead. Calvin then outscored FSU 46-42 over the final 20 minutes in notching the preseason victory.
FSU grabbed a three-point lead at 57-54 on a three-pointer from junior guard Kenny Brown (Farmington Hills/Harrison) with 9:28 left in the game and eventually jumped the margin to seven points at 63-56 with only 7:49 to go on another trey from freshman guard Drew Lehman (Toledo/Central Catholic).
However, Calvin answered by scoring 10 of the next 12 points to regain a one-point advantage with 4:41 remaining. FSU cut the lead back to two points with two minutes left on a jumper from Brown. The Bulldogs followed with a defensive rebound, but turned the ball back over to Calvin and the Knights answered with four-straight points by Tom Snikkers to take control and earn the win.
Snikkers paced Calvin with a game-high 20 points in the contest while Bryan Powell chipped in 12 points and Tyler Kruis scored 10 for the Knights.
The Bulldogs were led by Brown's 18 points while junior forward Daniel Sutherlin (Detroit/Renaissance) recorded 16 points and a team-high seven rebounds in the setback. Both Lehman and senior guard Dontae Molden (Detroit/Pershing) added 10 points each and Molden handed out five assists.
Calvin shot 48.3% (28-58) for the night and made 20-of-26 (76.9%) free throws to offset a three-of-15 (20%) effort beyond the three-point arc.
Ferris State converted 40.7% (24-59) of its field goal tries and sank 18-of-29 (62.1%) free throws in addition to six-of-21 (28.6%) three's.
Both teams finished with 36 rebounds and had 13 turnovers each, but the Knights outscored FSU 17-11 in points off those miscues. They also had 15 second chance points to 13 for the Bulldogs despite the fact Ferris State had two more offensive boards.
Overall, the game featured seven lead changes and the score was tied eight times as the two teams went back and forth.
FSU finished with 13 assists, three steals and two blocked shots with the Knights totaling 17 assists, seven steals and four blocks.
The contest marked the return to Calvin for 10th-year FSU head coach Bill Sall, who was an All-American player for the Knights during his collegiate playing days and later served as an assistant coach at the school under Ed Douma. He also made his return as he's currently a volunteer assistant coach on Sall's Bulldog staff.
Ferris State opens the 2011-12 regular-season campaign with a pair of tough matchups on back-to-back nights this weekend. FSU heads to Ann Arbor to square off with the Michigan Wolverines in the season opener at Crisler Arena on Friday night (Nov. 11) before heading to Mount Pleasant to face Central Michigan on Saturday (Nov. 12) evening. Both games tip off at 7 p.m. (ET).
Friday's game can be heard live on Sunny 97.3 FM and the Bulldog Sports Network at www.FerrisStateBulldogs.com with Rob Bentley calling the play-by-play action and Sandy Gholston offering color commentary. Saturday's tilt at CMU will not be available on local radio, but will air online via the Bulldog Sports Network.