Big Rapids, Mich. - The Ferris State University men's basketball team put together perhaps its most dominating performance of the season as the two-time defending Great Lakes Intercollegiate Athletic Conference (GLIAC) North Division Champions raced past league newcomer Malone by a 90-51 score on Thursday (Jan. 3) evening to open the New Year inside FSU's Jim Wink Arena.
The Bulldogs tallied 49 points in the first half and led by as many as 41 points in the contest against the Pioneers, who had entered the game with a 6-3 overall record and won four of its first six games in the GLIAC.
Four Ferris State players reached double-figure scoring as FSU returned from a two-week holiday break to snap a three-game losing skid in opening a four-game league homestand. Redshirt freshman center Jared Stolicker (Middleville/Thornapple-Kellogg) tallied a double-double effort with 17 points and 11 rebounds and all 17 of his points along with 10 of his 11 rebounds came in the second half.
Senior guard Kenny Brown (Farmington Hills/Harrison) added 17 points, six rebounds and three assists in the Bulldog victory while senior forward Daniel Sutherlin (Detroit/Renaissance) totaled 15 points and four boards. Sophomore guard Dietrich Lever (Detroit/Canton) also reached double-digits with 12 points, three assists and three steals.
While FSU had four players reach double-figures, those were far from the only Bulldog players who helped spearhead the victory. Sophomore guard Drew Lehman (Toledo, Ohio/Central Catholic) notched eight points, four rebounds and three assists while redshirt freshman guard Milton Cribbs (Detroit/Inkster) added seven points off the bench in 13 minutes of action.
Meanwhile, freshman forward Josh Fleming (Carol Stream, Ill./Glenbard North) contributed six points and had two key steals that led to easy layups. Sophomore forward Trent Messer (Richland/Gull Lake) also posted six points to go with nine rebounds in the triumph.
Ferris State shot 50% from the floor for the game and hit 21-of-27 (77.8%) free throws. FSU was five-of-11 (45.5%) from the three-point stripe.
Defensively, the Bulldogs held the Pioneers to only 33.9% shooting for the game, including a 24% figure in the second half. Malone made only three-of-22 (13.6%) three's and missed all seven long range tries in the final 20 minutes. The Pioneers were 10-of-19 (52.6%) at the line.
Brian Stone led Malone with 10 points off the bench, but he was the only player to reach double-figures for the Pioneers in the first-ever matchup against the Bulldogs.
Ferris State posted a decisive 44-29 rebounding edge and came up with 16 offensive boards to only 11 for the Pioneers, which helped lead to a 17-11 advantage in second chance production.
Turnovers were also a big factor in the game as the Bulldogs forced 16 MU miscues and had only 10 of its own, leading to a commanding 25-4 margin in points off turnovers for the game. FSU totaled eight steals to seven for the Pioneers.
Besides outscoring Malone in points off turnovers and second chance production, FSU also totaled 10 fast break points to none for the Pioneers and owned a 40-28 edge in points scored inside the paint.
The contest featured only three lead changes as Malone led by as many as three points only three minutes into the game before FSU took control and built a 49-30 halftime advantage. The lead continued to grow in the second half behind the play of Stolicker as FSU pushed the advantage to as many as 41 points with 6:44 remaining in the contest.
With the win, Ferris State improved to 5-6 overall this season and 4-3 in the GLIAC standings while Malone fell to 6-4 on the year and is now also 4-3 in league competition.
Ferris State will host the league's other first-year school in Walsh on Saturday, Jan. 5, at Wink Arena. The game tips off at 1 p.m. (ET) and will be part of a tripleheader inside the Ewigleben Sports Complex with the women's game to follow at approximately 3 p.m. (ET) and the Bulldog men's ice hockey team hosting Michigan State across the concourse at 5:05 p.m. (ET).
Saturday will be Kidz Day at Wink Arena for Bulldog Basketball and all youth in grades K-12 will be admitted free with a paid adult. A number of activities will be featured directed towards kids, including a bounce house, locker room tour, arts and crafts table and more.
FSU home basketball tickets can be purchased in advance thru the FSU Athletics Ticket Office by calling (231) 591-2888 or visit FerrisStateBulldogs.com for more information. They can also be bought online via StarTickets.com. Adult general admission tickets are $7 or the cost is $5 for FSU faculty/staff, seniors ages 65 and up or students age 3 thru 12th grade. FSU students are admitted free with a valid student ID card.