Big Rapids, Mich. - The Ferris State University men's basketball team put together perhaps its most dominating performance of the season as the Bulldogs rolled to a 90-68 Great Lakes Intercollegiate Athletic Conference (GLIAC) road win over Saginaw Valley State on Saturday (Feb. 22) night in University Center, Mich.
Sophomore center Jared Stolicker scored the Bulldogs' first eight points of the game in helping FSU off to a hot start and the Bulldogs never trailed after his second basket only one minute into the game gave Ferris State an early 4-3 edge.
FSU pushed the margin to nine points at halftime, 44-35, and quickly pushed the advantage to 18 points only five minutes into the second frame. The lead grew to as many as 29 points at one stage with nearly four minutes to play as the Bulldogs cruised down the stretch en route to the victory.
Five Ferris State players reached double-figure scoring in the decisive victory with sophomore guard Jibreel Jackson scoring a game-high 19 points. He hit seven-of-nine shots from the floor and added three assists in 33 minutes of action.
Jackson was joined in double-digits by junior guard Drew Lehman with 17 points. Stolicker finished with 14 points on the night, junior guard Dietrich Lever added 11 points and senior forward Raymoan McAfee netted 10 points off the bench. Meanwhile, sophomore forward Josh Fleming nearly reached double-figures with nine points in the game and FSU also received six points from junior Matt Poches along with four by junior forward Matt Stoll as eight players all played 16 minutes or more.
A young Saginaw Valley State team stayed close early in the first half behind the play of freshman C.J. Turnage, who scored a team-high 14 points but played only 21 minutes after picking up three fouls. Another freshman, Caleb Davis, added 12 points off the bench and a third rookie, Garrett Hall, totaled 10 points for SVSU.
Ferris State shot 57.8% from the floor for the game and hit 63.3% of its field goals in the second half. FSU also sank eight-of-18 three's (44.4%), which helped offset a eight-of-18 (44.4%) showing at the free throw line.
Meanwhile, the Cardinals shot 50% overall and were seven-of-22 (31.8%) from downtown along with 13-of-20 (65%) at the stripe.
Stolicker grabbed a game-best eight rebounds to help FSU own the glass as the Bulldogs pulled down 38 boards to only 24 for Saginaw Valley State. Ferris State also had 13 offensive boards and gave up only four caroms on the offensive end, helping FSU post a 17-7 margin in second chance production.
Along with Stolicker, Ferris State received seven rebounds from Fleming and eight of the nine FSU players who saw action had at least two rebounds in a balanced victory.
FSU also took care of the basketball throughout the game despite an up-tempo attack that generated 90 points as the Bulldogs had only four turnovers for the game. They also forced 12 Saginaw Valley State miscues and came up with four steals to only two for the hosts. Ferris State outscored SVSU 16-4 in points off turnovers.
Offensively, the Bulldogs dished out 16 assists, which included five from Lever to go with four by Lehman and three from Jackson. SVSU netted 14 assists with Kellen Smith garnering five and Vincent Adams distributing four.
Ferris State outscored SVSU 46-33 over the final 20 minutes in a game that was tied only once and featured only two lead changes, including none after the opening minute of the initial half.
With the win, the Bulldogs have now won two in a row and three of their last five overall. They improved to 9-15 overall and 8-12 in GLIAC play with the victory. SVSU fell to 9-15 overall and 5-15 in conference action with the setback in the 88th all-time series' matchup.
Ferris State returns home for its final two contests of the season next week inside FSU's Jim Wink Arena. FSU hosts archrival Grand Valley State on Thursday (Feb. 27) night in an 8 p.m. (ET) clash in Big Rapids before playing host to Saginaw Valley State in a rematch on Saturday (March 1) starting at 3 p.m. (ET) in the season finale.