Big Rapids, Mich. - The Ferris State University men's basketball squad put together perhaps its most impressive performance of the 2011-12 campaign to date as the Bulldogs beat previously unbeaten Wisconsin-Parkside by a 70-65 score in regional action on Saturday (Nov. 26) afternoon at FSU's Jim Wink Arena.
The Bulldogs won their second consecutive contest at home by forcing 24 Ranger turnovers and four players reached double-figure scoring en route to the triumph. UWP entered the contest at 4-0 this season and was coming off a one-point victory at Great Lakes Intercollegiate Athletic Conference (GLIAC) North Division favorite Michigan Tech on Tuesday night.
Ferris State scored the game's first seven points and bolted out to an early 9-2 advantage in a game that featured four lead changes. FSU held a 34-28 edge at intermission, but had to rally back from a four-point deficit with 11:41 to play.
The Bulldogs led by as many as 10 points in the first half with 1:32 remaining before the Rangers responded and trimmed the margin to six at the break. They continued to chip into the FSU advantage early in the second half and eventually took a 46-42 edge on a three-pointer by Leneal Harris with 11:41 left.
However, the Bulldogs answered by going on a 15-4 run to build a seven-point margin at 57-50 with 4:42 to go. The lead grew to as many as 12 points with 28 seconds remaining before Harris connected on a pair of three-pointers in the final 10 seconds to account for the final margin.
FSU was able to seize control late in the second half by mixing things up defensively as the Bulldogs slapped on a full-court press and went to a zone look for the first time in the game.
Senior guard Kenny Brown (Farmington Hills/Harrison) led the Bulldogs with a game-high 18 points in the outing. He was joined in double figures by junior forward Daniel Sutherlin (Detroit/Renaissance) with 14 points in addition to 12 points by senior forward Jerrell Sanders (Grand Rapids/Creston) and 10 points from senior guard Dontae Molden (Detroit/Pershing).
Sutherlin added a contest-best 15 rebounds in a double-double effort after pulling down nine boards in the initial half of action. Both Brown and Sanders contributed five rebounds each as FSU slightly outrebounded a bigger Ranger lineup 36-35 for the afternoon.
Ferris State shot 41.4% (24-58) from the floor and made four-of-13 (30.8%) three's compared to UWP's 42.9% (24-56) effort from the field and 47.6% (10-21) showing from downtown. FSU owned an advantage at the free throw stripe where the Bulldogs converted 18-of-24 (75%) tries to only 58.3% (7-12) for the Rangers.
Defensively, the Bulldogs came up with 14 steals off of Wisconsin-Parkside's 24 turnovers that helped lead to a decisive 28-10 advantage in points off turnovers. Sanders had a game-high five steals for the Bulldogs and FSU also outscored the Rangers 34-16 in the paint.
Besides posting 14 points and 15 rebounds, Sutherlin also tallied four blocked shots while Sanders dished out three assists to go with his 12 points, five rebounds and five steals.
Overall, both teams finished with 10 assists and five blocked shots each while the Rangers had only six steals.
Wisconsin-Parkside was led by Harris' 17 points while Jeremy Saffold hit four three-pointers to finish with 12 points and Ziggy Riauka totaled 11 points inside.
With the win, the Bulldogs improved to 2-3 overall this campaign and a perfect 2-0 at home in regular-season play at Wink Arena.
FSU opens GLIAC action on the road this coming week as the Bulldogs visit Tiffin on Thursday, Dec. 1, for an 8 p.m. (ET) league tilt in Tiffin, Ohio. FSU then visits Ohio Dominican for the first-time ever on Saturday, Dec. 3, with tipoff set for 3 p.m. (ET) in Columbus, Ohio.
Bulldog Bites: Ferris State improved to 13-7 all-time against the Rangers, who are a member of the Great Lakes Valley Conference (GLVC) and a Midwest Region school ..... The win was the second in as many years for FSU over UWP after a 83-74 triumph last season in Kenosha, Wis. .... The visit to Wink Arena was UWP's first trip to Big Rapids since the 2000-01 season ...... The Bulldogs had 11 players see action in the contest ...... Freshman Dietrich Lever (Detroit/Canton) contributed six points off the bench in 17 minutes of action ...... The Rangers held a slim 18-13 margin in second chance scoring with both teams netting 14 offensive boards ...... Three Bulldogs played 30 minutes or more with Sanders seeing a team-high 38 minutes of action ...... Eight of Sutherlin's rebounds came on the offensive end ..... Molden also had four steals and two assists to go with his 10 points.