Postgame Press Conference
Coach Bronkema Postgame Radio Interview
Postgame Video Highlights
Big Rapids, Mich. - The Ferris State University men's basketball squad advanced into the championship game of the 2017 Great Lakes Intercollegiate Athletic Conference (GLIAC) Tournament as the two-time defending league champions beat Michigan Tech 79-71 on Saturday (March 4) in the semifinal round at FSU's Jim Wink Arena.
The top-seeded Bulldogs pulled ahead 34-30 at halftime after a back-and-forth first half of play. FSU increased its lead to as many as 11 points with 11:27 to go before the Huskies rallied and tied the game back up.
However, Ferris State made several critical plays down the stretch and pulled away late for the victory as they beat fourth-seeded Michigan Tech for the third time this year. All three games were determined by eight points or less.
With the win, Ferris State matched a school single-season record with its 26th victory of the year as the nationally-ranked Bulldogs improved to 26-4 overall. FSU will now face sixth-seeded Ashland, which upset second-seeded Findlay in decisive fashion in the second semifinal, on Sunday (March 5) in the league tournament title game at Wink Arena starting at 3 p.m. (ET).
In the win over Michigan Tech, Ferris State had five players reach double-figure scoring. Senior guard Quentin Ruff tallied a game-high 17 points with sophomore center Zach Hankins adding 13 points and 12 rebounds in a double-double performance.
The Bulldogs also received 11 points from both junior guard Drew Cushingberry and redshirt freshman Greg Williams while junior forward Noah King added 10 points in the winning effort.
Ferris State was limited to a 37.5% shooting figure by the Huskies, but FSU hit 50% of its second-half tries after shooting only 28.9% in the opening half. The Bulldogs finished nine-of-25 (36%) from beyond the arc and had 11 turnovers overall.
FSU had a big performance at the line as the Bulldogs hit on 22-of-23 (95.7%) free throws, including several key tries late in the game.
Meanwhile, Michigan Tech received a game-high 22 points from standout sophomore forward Kyle Monroe with Bryan Heath adding 18 points. A.J. Grazulis added 12 points inside with senior guard Jordan Chartier posting 10 points from the outside as MTU wrapped up the year with a 16-14 overall record.
The Huskies finished shooting at a 44.6% clip and went seven-of-18 (38.9%) from downtown along with 14-of-16 (87.5%) at the line.
The Bulldogs owned the glass with a 41-30 rebounding margin, which included 16 offensive boards to only five for Michigan Tech. FSU outscored the Huskies 22-5 in second chance production in the victory.
In addition to the advantage on the glass, the Bulldogs also received 24 points off the bench to only eight for the Huskies and tallied 16 fast break points to seven for the visitors. MTU held a slim 28-24 edge inside the paint with FSU owning a 16-13 margin in points off turnovers.
Both teams had exactly 11 turnovers apiece in a game that featured 13 lead changes and was tied 10 times. FSU finished with 19 assists, including five apiece from both Cushingberry and junior guard Peter Firlik, to go with five blocks and four steals. The Huskies netted 24 assists, five steals and two blocks in the game.
Heading into Sunday's championship game, the Bulldogs will have an opportunity to become the first team in school history to win both the GLIAC's regular-season and tournament titles in the same year.
Tickets for Sunday's league final will go on sale starting at 1:30 p.m. (ET) Sunday prior to the 3 p.m. (ET) tipoff in Big Rapids. The winner of the tournament championship game receives the league's automatic berth into the NCAA Division II Midwest Regional Tournament slated for March 11-14 at a campus site to be announced.
The official NCAA Tournament pairings will be announced on Sunday evening starting at 10:30 p.m. (ET) at www.ncaa.com.
Ferris State Beats Michigan Tech To Advance To Third-Straight GLIAC Tournament Championship Game
Postgame Press Conference