Big Rapids, Mich. - Turnovers proved to be a difference as the Ferris State University men's basketball team suffered a 94-71 setback to Great Lakes Intercollegiate Athletic Conference (GLIAC) South Division leader Walsh University on Saturday (Jan. 11) in league play at Alumni Arena in North Canton, Ohio.
The Bulldogs turned the ball over 15 times, which led to 28 points by the Cavaliers in a matchup of two teams that entered the contest with identical 5-2 records in GLIAC play. In addition, Walsh had only eight miscues on the day.
The contest was much closer than the final score would indicate as the lead changed hands 13 times and the score was tied seven times.
Ferris State started quickly and grabbed an early four-point lead only a minute into the game before the Cavaliers responded on their home floor. Walsh eventually took a 41-33 halftime lead and then scored the first seven points of the second half to push the margin to 15 points.
The Bulldogs trimmed the lead down to nine points with 8:42 to play but could get no closer as Walsh shot 63.3% in the second half from the floor.
Despite the loss, the Bulldogs received a solid performance from junior guard Dietrich Lever, who tallied a team-high 16 points on six-of-10 shooting from the floor.
Besides Lever, FSU also received 13 points and seven rebounds from sophomore center Jared Stolicker to go with 10 points by junior guard Drew Lehman.
Ferris State finished shooting 42% for the game and made three-of-11 (27.3%) three's. The Bulldogs also converted 16-of-20 (80%) free throws.
Meanwhile, Walsh connected on 53.8% of its field goals and nailed seven-of-17 (41.2%) treys along with 17-of-21 (81%) tries from the charity stripe.
Brad DuPont paced Walsh with a game-high 21 points and made four three-pointers with Trey Fletcher contributing 20 points inside. Jesse Hardin added 15 points and Zac Carter scored 14 off the bench as the Cavaliers placed four in double-figure scoring.
Ferris State owned a 38-35 rebounding edge for the day and came up with 15 offensive boards, which helped lead to a 20-10 margin in second chance production.
Despite scoring 26 baskets, the Bulldogs were credited for only a single assist and one steal in the outing. They had four blocked shots, including three from Stolicker. Walsh netted 12 assists, 10 steals and one block for the game, according to the final statistical totals.
With the win, Walsh evened the all-time series against the Bulldogs at a single win apiece after a narrow 70-68 Bulldog victory a season ago in Big Rapids. Saturday's contest marked FSU's first outing ever at Alumni Arena.
The Cavaliers improved to 10-2 overall and 6-2 in the GLIAC with the win while Ferris State fell to 6-6 overall and 5-3 in conference play.
The Bulldogs will continue their four-game league road swing with a pair of contests in Michigan's Upper Peninsula next week. FSU visits Michigan Tech on Thursday (Jan. 16) for a 7:30 p.m. (ET) league tilt against the Huskies inside MTU's Student Development Complex Gymnasium.
After Thursday's game, the Bulldogs wrap up the road stretch versus Northern Michigan on Saturday (Jan. 18) beginning at 1 p.m. (ET) inside the Berry Events Center at Marquette.
All Ferris State University basketball contests can be heard live on Sunny 97.3 FM and the Bulldog Sports Network online at FerrisStateBulldogs.com.