November 2, 2013

Bulldogs Race Past Former Stars In Men's Basketball Alumni Game

Big Rapids, Mich. - The Ferris State University men's basketball team took on stars from the past on Saturday (Nov. 2) night during the 2013 Bulldog Basketball Alumni Game and this year's current squad posted a 129-89 victory at FSU's Jim Wink Arena.

The alumni team consisted of a group of former players who came back for a full day of events, including a tailgate cookout in conjunction with Ferris State's home football game, a veterans contest along with the final game of the night pitting the former stars against this year's team.

First-year head coach Andy Bronkema's Bulldog squad jumped out to a 58-34 lead at halftime and cruised to the victory.  FSU totaled 71 points in the second half en route to the win.

Six players reached double-figure scoring for the Bulldogs with sophomore forward Josh Fleming leading the way with a team-best 23 points.  Sophomore center Jared Stolicker was too much for the alumni on the inside as he scored 15 points and had a game-high 14 rebounds, including eight on the offensive end.

FSU also received 15 points off the bench from junior forward James Chappell in addition to 14 points by sophomore guard Dietrich Lever and 12 from forward Matt Poches in addition to 13 out of junior guard Drew Lehman.

On the alumni side, former standout guard Kenny Brown, who played on FSU's back-to-back GLIAC Championship teams in 2011 and 2012, led the way with a game-high 25 points.  He scored 20 points in the second half and hit five three-pointers in the game to lead the alumni charge.

Along with Brown, the alumni also got 15 points from forward Terrance Shaw and 11 by former standout Ray Pope.  Shaw was a key member of the Bulldogs' league title teams in 2004 and 2005 while Pope played for the Bulldogs in the late 1990's when they claimed a GLIAC Tournament Championship and reached the NCAA Tournament.  The alumni also received nine points each from the former backcourt combination of Darien Gay and Dontae Molden.

This year's Bulldog squad shot 53.4% for the game, including 59.9% in the opening half.  The alumni heated up in the second half as they shot 59.4% over the final 20 minutes after connecting on only 30.8% of their field goal tries in the first period.  Overall, the alumni hit 43.7% of their shots for the night.

From the outside, this year's team hit 13-of-27 (48.1%) three's while the alumni contingent shot 39.3% (11-28) beyond the arc.  Bronkema's current group was 22-of-28 (78.6%) at the free throw line compared to the 14-of-21 (66.7%) performance by the alumni.

The 2013-14 Bulldog squad also owned a decisive 56-37 rebounding margin with 23 offensive boards to 16 carmons on the offensive end by the alumni.  Both teams managed to take care of the basketball for the most part with the alumni finishing with 18 turnovers and this year's team posting 13 for the game.

Additionally, both teams also distributed the ball exceptionally well as the Bulldogs had 33 assists, including eight by Lever, five from Poches and five from sophomore guard Jibreel Jackson.  Brown led the way for the alumni with five helpers and former Gay added four.

Overall, the Bulldogs managed to play all 14 players in the preseason tilt while the alumni played 14 as well in the feature game of the doubleheader.  The other alumni squad members not already mentioned included current student assistant coach and four-year letterwinner Daniel Sutherlin along with past standouts such as Willie Burrell, Ty Miller, Jason Holder, Matt DeHart, Verdell Billingsley, Spencer Sellner, Jim Boylan and Josh Young. A pair of past players also competed in the veterans game including Nathan Wruble and Chris Smith.

The alumni team was coached by former player and assistant coach Lewis Garner, who's a Bulldog Athletics Hall of Famer.

Ferris State will play its final exhibition game of the preseason this Thursday (Nov. 7) as the Bulldogs visit Calvin for a 7:30 p.m. (ET) tilt in Grand Rapids, Mich.  The season opener is on Nov. 20 at Lewis University in Romeoville, Ill.

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