Big Rapids, Mich. - The Ferris State University men's basketball team came out on the short end of a 60-47 non-conference regional decision in its 2012-13 season opener versus the Lewis (Ill.) Flyers on Saturday (Nov. 17) night at FSU's Jim Wink Arena.
The Bulldogs, who played without the services of preseason All-Great Lakes Intercollegiate Athletic Conference (GLIAC) guard Kenny Brown, shot only 33.3% from the floor and made only two-of-10 (20%) tries from behind the three-point arc in falling to the Flyers.
FSU trailed 32-20 at halftime and the Flyers built their lead to as many as 18 points with 11:34 remaining in the contest. Ferris State fought back to single digits late in the contest, but could not pull out the victory.
Sophomore guard Dietrich Lever (Detroit/Canton) totaled 12 points in leading the Bulldogs while sophomore guard Drew Lehman (Toledo/Central Catholic) chipped in with 10 points and senior forward Daniel Sutherlin (Detroit/Renaissance) notched a double-double with 10 points along with 10 boards in the setback.
The Flyers were paced by Jeff Jarosz's game-high 18 points. He added four assists and two steals as Lewis won its season opener on the road. Ryan Jackson added 14 points and David Bryant totaled 13 points for LU, which reached the NCAA Tournament a season ago.
Ferris State did own a 38-30 rebounding advantage and the Bulldogs held a 16-7 edge in second chance scoring with 13 offensive boards. However, the Bulldogs also turned the ball over 14 times and were outscored 21-6 in points off miscues by the Flyers, who had only nine turnovers for the night.
Lewis shot 43.1% (22-51) for the game and made eight-of-19 (42.1%) three's along with eight-of-13 (61.5%) free throws. FSU was 13-of-19 (68.4%) at the stripe.
The Bulldogs shot only 25.9% (7-27) in the opening half before improving to 42.9% (9-21) over the final 20 minutes.
Meanwhile, the Flyers connected on a 40% (12-30) clip in the first stanza followed by a 47.6% (10-21) figure over the final half.
Lewis netted 12 assists, six steals and two blocked shots compared to FSU's three assists, three steals and two blocks.
FSU was outscored 26-20 in the paint, but did hold a slim 10-9 margin in bench scoring. The game featured only two lead changes.
Besides the three players in double-digits, the Bulldogs also received five points each from redshirt freshmen Jared Stolicker (Middleville/Thornapple-Kellogg) and Milton Cribbs (Detroit/Inkster) as both made their official collegiate debuts.
Ferris State, which is the two-time defending GLIAC North Division Champion, continues its season-opening homestand by hosting Grace Bible on Tuesday, Nov. 20, at 7:30 p.m. (ET) inside Wink Arena. The Bulldogs then host perennial Division II power Winona State (Minn.) on Sunday, Nov. 25, at 3 p.m. (ET) in Big Rapids.