Marquette, Mich. - The Ferris State University men's basketball squad trailed by 12 points at halftime, but rallied back to stun Northern Michigan 69-55 in Great Lakes Intercollegiate Athletic Conference (GLIAC) play on Saturday (Jan. 21) afternoon at the Berry Events Center in Marquette.
The Bulldogs moved back into a first-place tie atop the GLIAC North Division standings with the win as Michigan Tech fell to Grand Valley State at home in Saturday's action. The Bulldogs host GVSU next Saturday (Jan. 28) at FSU's Jim Wink Arena.
Freshman guard Drew Lehman (Toledo, Ohio) tallied a personal career-high 23 points to key the comeback win while junior guard Kenny Brown (Farmington Hills/Harrison) added 13 points and senior guard Dontae Molden (Detroit/Pershing) totaled 12 points.
FSU trailed 39-27 at halftime after shooting only 33.3% in the opening half, but shot 46.7% over the final period to finish at 40.7% for the game.
NMU led by as many as 17 points in the first half of play and still held a 10-point edge with 14 minutes to go in the contest.
Northern Michigan was paced by Jared Benson with 18 points and Haki Stampley, who had 16 points but did not score in the second half.
The Wildcats shot 53.3% in the opening half, but were limited to only 20% (4-20) in the final 20 minutes of the contest to finish at 40% (20-50) for the game.
Ferris State outscored Northern Michigan 44-18 over the course of the second half as the game featured a complete turnaround. NMU managed to make only four field goals in the second period.
With the win, FSU improved to 10-7 overall and 7-3 in the GLIAC this season. It was also the 19th win for the Bulldogs in 22 meetings under head coach Bill Sall against the Wildcats. NMU fell to 8-9 overall and 4-6 in league play.
The Bulldogs owned a 36-32 rebounding edge and had only 12 turnovers to 18 for Northern Michigan. Senior forward Jerrell Sanders (Grand Rapids/Creston) recorded a game-high 10 boards for the Bulldogs.
Behind Lehman's effort off the bench, the Bulldog reserves outscored NMU's bench by a 31-4 margin for the game. Lehman scored 16 of his 23 points in the second half of action for the Bulldogs.
FSU finished with 11 assists, 10 steals and one blocked shot in comparison to NMU's seven blocked shots, five assists and four thefts. Ferris also held a 20-13 edge in points off turnovers.
The victory allowed FSU to earn a split on its annual two-game trip to Michigan's Upper Peninsula as the Bulldogs bounced back after a loss at Michigan Tech to open the trip on Thursday (Jan. 19) evening.
Ferris State will host Grand Valley State on Saturday (Jan. 28) with tipoff set for 3 p.m. (ET) inside Wink Arena.