Findlay, Ohio - The Ferris State University men's basketball squad took nationally 24th-ranked Findlay to the wire, but came out on the short end of a heartbreaking 82-81 overtime decision against the Oilers inside Croy Gymnasium on Saturday (Dec. 15) afternoon in Ohio.
The Bulldogs appeared to be on their way to snapping Findlay's 78-game conference regular-season homecourt winning streak dating back to 2004, but the Oilers scored in the final minuteof overtime to force overtime.
In overtime, the Oilers took a one-point lead, but missed two free throws with six seconds to play. FSU drove the length of the floor but couldn't get off a potential game-winning shot as time expired in the Great Lakes Intercollegiate Athletic Conference (GLIAC) showdown.
For the second-straight year, the Bulldogs held a lead at halftime inside Croy Gymnasium as FSU was up 39-38 at the break.
Ferris State led much of the way and held a lead as large as 10 points in the opening half as the Bulldogs shot 51% for the contest. FSU also converted 21-of-26 (80.8%) free throws in the outing.
Senior forward Daniel Sutherlin (Detroit/Renaissance) had one of his best games as a Bulldog with a team-high 20 points and seven rebounds while sinking 10-of-11 free throws. He was joined in double-digits by sophomore guard Drew Lehman (Toledo/Catholic Central), who added 18 points, seven rebounds and five assists.
Two others also reached double digits as sophomore guard Dietrich Lever (Detroit/Canton) netted 14 points and senior guard Kenny Brown (Farmington Hills/Harrison) totaled 13 points with five assists.
FSU owned a 34-27 rebounding edge and grabbed 10 offensive boards to seven for the hosts, who improved to 6-2 overall and 4-1 in the GLIAC. FSU fell to 4-4 overall and 3-2 in conference action with the loss.
The Oilers also had four players reach double-figure scoring as Brad Piehl netted 21 points and hit 16-of-17 free throws. Senior guard Aaron Robinson added 14 points, Greg Kahlig had 13 points and Jake Heagen totaled 12 points.
Findlay finished shooting 46.2% for the game and hit 11-of-21 (52.4%) three's along with 23-of-28 (82.1%) free throws. UF also forced 13 Bulldog turnovers with only 10 of its own.
Both teams had seven steals while the Bulldogs compiled six blocked shots to two for the Oilers. Junior forward Raymoan McAfee (Detroit/Pershing) had three of FSU's blocks and also finished with three rebounds and seven points.
The game featured eight lead changes and the score was tied eight times. FSU held a 32-26 edge in points scored inside the paint. The Bulldogs also owned a 12-6 advantage in second chance scoring.
Ferris State continues a three-game road swing as the Bulldogs visit Hillsdale on Monday, Dec. 17, for a 6 p.m. (ET) Great Lakes Intercollegiate Athletic Conference (GLIAC) tilt at Jesse Philips Arena in Hillsdale, Mich. FSU then heads to Indianapolis for a non-league game on Wednesday, Dec. 19, starting at 7 p.m. (ET).
Both Bulldog games can be heard live this week on Sunny 97.3 FM and the Bulldog Sports Network online at FerrisStateBulldogs.com.
The two contests represent the Bulldogs' final two outings prior to the holiday break after which the Bulldogs will not return to action until Jan. 3 at home against Malone in league play at FSU's Jim Wink Arena.