February 29, 2012

Bulldog Men Suffer GLIAC Tourney Loss

Houghton, Mich. - The Ferris State University men's basketball team saw its season come to a close on Wednesday (Feb. 29) night as the Bulldogs suffered a disapointing 71-59 setback on the road to Michigan Tech in the Great Lakes Intercollegiate Athletic Conference (GLIAC) Tournament Quarterfinals at Houghton, Mich.

FSU ends the season with a 16-11 overall record after winning a share of a second-straight GLIAC North Division Championship with a 13-6 league mark.

Michigan Tech, which was seeded fourth, jumped out to a 38-26 halftime lead and held off the Bulldogs in the second half as they improved to 16-11 overall and advanced to the GLIAC Tournament Semifinals on Saturday at top-seeded host Hillsdale.

MTU was paced by junior forward Ali Haidar, who totled 20 points and grabbed a GLIAC Tournament record 26 free throws, which also tied the Huskies' school mark.  Mike Hojnacki added 21 points in the victory and knocked down three three-pointers to help the Huskies' cause. 

FSU senior forward Jerrell Sanders paced the fifth-seeded Bulldogs with a team-high 21 points and 11 rebounds in his final collegiate contest.  He was joined in double-digits by junior guard Kenny Brown with 12 points.

Ferris State struggled shooting the ball as FSU shot only 34.5% from the floor for the game, including just 25.6% in the opening half.  FSU also made only 13-of-23 (56.5%) free throws.

Meanwhile, Michigan Tech converted 47.4% of its field goal tries and nailed six-of-17 (35.3%) three's.  The Huskies also were effective at the free throw stripe as they finished 11-of-15 (73.3%) for the game.

MTU owned a decisive 49-30 rebounding edge and grabbed 15 offensive boards, including seven by Haidar alone.  That helped the Huskies hold a 12-7 margin in second chance scoring for the game.

The Bulldogs had only six turnovers to 15 for Michigan Tech and it allowed FSU to own a 13-6 advantage in points off turnovers.  FSU also came up with seven steals, including three each from Sanders and junior forward Daniel Sutherlin.  MTU did not record a steal in the game and neither team was credited with a blocked shot.

Mcihigan Tech had 15 assists to FSU's 13 in a game that featured four lead changes.  FSU led early by four points with 13:37 remaining before Michigan Tech seized control and eventually owned a 17-point lead with 5:37 left in the game.

In addition to Sanders, Wednesday's setback also ended the career of three other Bulldog seniors in Dontae Molden, Jim Boylan and Spencer Sellner.  Molden concluded his career among the school's top five all-time leaders in both assists and steals.  He finished Wednesday's outing with nine points, two assists and a steal in his final collegiate game.

The Bulldogs, who reached the NCAA Division II Sweet Sixteen in 2010-11, wrapped up the season by making their 13th all-time GLIAC Tournament berth.  FSU dropped to 10-15 overall in league tournament action.  Ferris State made its seventh conference tournament appearance in the last eight years, including its fourth in a row this season.

Additionally, Ferris State's 16 wins this campaign mark the 10th consecutive year in which the Bulldogs have won 10 or more games under head coach Bill Sall.  It is also the third year in a row in which FSU has won at least 16 games and the fifth time the Bulldogs have done so in 10 years under Sall's direction.

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