Big Rapids, Mich. - The Ferris State University men's basketball team came back from an impressive win over one of the league's newcomers to beat the Great Lakes Intercollegiate Athletic Conference's (GLIAC) other first-year school with an exciting 70-68 victory over Walsh on Saturday (Jan. 5) afternoon inside Jim Wink Arena.
FSU, which topped Malone in decisive fashion by a 90-51 score on Thursday (Jan. 3) to open a four-game league homestand, received 19 points apiece from both senior guard Kenny Brown (Farmington Hills/Harrison) and senior forward Daniel Sutherlin (Detroit/Renaissance) in Saturday's win over the Cavaliers, who had entered the game with a 7-3 mark on the year.
The contest featured 13 lead changes and was tied 11 times as the two teams battled back and forth throughout the afternoon. Neither team led by more than seven points in the contest and the game went to the wire as FSU pulled out its second consecutive victory.
Ferris State led by four points at 68-64 with 2:16 remaining before Walsh responded with a basket by Rian Burrell and two free throws from Davonte Beard to tie up the game with 1:17 remaining. Brown missed a three-pointer for the Bulldogs inside of a minute, but after a tiemout Beard missed a shot inside, which gave FSU the final possession.
After a pair of timeouts with 11 seconds to play, FSU inbounded the ball from the sideline to sophomore guard Drew Lehman (Toledo, Central Catholic), who was able to drive around the horn to the basket on the opposite side to push FSU ahead on a layup with six seconds remaining. The Cavaliers could not connect on their final possession as Ferris State took the victory.
Ferris State built an early six point lead only seven minutes into the opening half before the Cavaliers came back and led by five points with 5:35 remaining in the initial stanza. However, the Bulldogs rallied and took a two-point lead at the break.
In the second half, the Bulldogs jumped in front by seven with 12:26 remaining and never trailed the rest of the way although the Cavaliers were able to tie the game on three occassions in the final 4:16 of action.
Lehman chipped in with 14 points as three Bulldog players reached double-digits in helping FSU improve to 6-6 overall and 5-3 in league competition. Walsh fell to 7-4 overall and 3-4 in the GLIAC after a split on its weekend trip following an impressive Thursday night win over Grand Valley State in Allendale.
Ferris State was limited to only 38.4% shooting for the game and the Bulldogs made only three-of-18 (16.7%) three's against a big Walsh lineup that featured four players listed as 6-5 or bigger, including 7-1 junior Hrvoje Vucic, who was limited to only two points in seven minutes while battling foul trouble.
While Vucic saw limited action, the Cavaliers did managed to place four players in double-digits with Burrell leading the way with a game-high 20 points. Ryan Vanderhorst tallied 13 of his 15 points in the second half and nailed four three-pointers to keep Walsh within striking distance. Meanwhile, the Cavaliers' leading scorer on the year, 6-9 forward Kenny Kornowski, finished with 15 points and a game-best 13 rebounds. Jeff Copeland also tallied 10 points in the setback.
Overall, Walsh shot 50% from the floor and was five-of-18 (27.8%) beyond the three-point arc. Both teams finished 11-of-16 (68.8%) at the free throw line for the day.
Both teams also finished with 39 rebounds in the contest, but the Bulldogs held a decisive advantage in second chance production with 17 points to only three for the Cavaliers by virtue of 14 offensive boards to only three additional chances for Walsh. Sutherlin led the Bulldogs on the glass with 10 boards in a double-double showing while both redshirt freshman center Jared Stolicker (Middleville/Thornapple-Kellogg) and sophomore forward Trent Messer (Richland/Gull Lake) added five each in a balanced effort.
Ferris State was outscored 32-24 in the paint by the bigger Walsh attack, but the Bulldogs forced 14 turnovers and limited their mistakes to only six turnovers in the game. FSU also came up with nine steals on Walsh's 14 miscues with three different players netting two apiece.
The Bulldogs will continue their four-game homestand by starting GLIAC North Divison play against the Michigan Tech Huskies next Thursday, Jan. 10, at Wink Arena. Tipoff is set for 6 p.m. (ET) in Big Rapids. Then, on Saturday (Jan. 12), Northern Michigan will visit for a 1 p.m. (ET) league contest.
Tickets for both of next weekend's contests are on sale and can be purchased in advance. Please call (231) 591-2888 for more information or visit FerrisStateBulldogs.com. They can also be purchased online at StarTickets.com or by calling 1-800-585-3737.