Postgame Press Conference
Louisville, Ky. - One of the most historic seasons in Ferris State University men's basketball history came to an end on Sunday (March 12) night as the Bulldogs fell to the Findlay Oilers 68-63 in the NCAA Division II Midwest Regional Semifinals at Knights Hall in Louisville.
The second-seeded Bulldogs jumped out to an early lead before Findlay responded. It was a tight game at halftime with FSU owning a 40-39 edge, but Findlay pulled in front in the second half. A nine-point UF lead was trimmed to three by FSU in the closing minutes before the Oilers held on for the win in the matchup of two Great Lakes Intercollegiate Athletic Conference (GLIAC) foes in the regional semifinals.
With the loss, Ferris State concludes the year with a school all-time best 28-5 overall mark under fourth-year head coach Andy Bronkema. This year, the Bulldogs won both the GLIAC Regular Season and Tournament titles in the same campaign for the first time in school history and the 28 wins are the most in nearly 90 seasons of FSU Basketball.
The Bulldogs got a team-high 17 points and 13 rebounds from sophomore center Zach Hankins with junior guard Drew Cushingberry adding 14 points and junior wing Peter Firlik scorin 12 points.
Overall, Ferris State shot 39% from the floor, but went only seven-of-27 (25.9%) from three-point range and had only four attempts at the free throw stripe. FSU was also outrebounded 41-36 by the Oilers, who improved to 25-6 on the year.
Findlay was paced by Taren Sullivan with a game-high 22 points. They also got 21 points from guard Martyce Kimbrough in addition to 13 from forward Tyler Stern-Tucker.
The Oilers hit on 45% of their field goals and were seven-of-21 (33.3%) from downtown along with seven-of-13 (53.8%) at the line.
FSU had only nine turnovers to 12 for the Oilers and the Bulldogs also came up with seven blocks and five steals on the defensive end. The Bulldogs outscored the Oilers 36-26 in the paint.
Before the loss to Findlay, FSU had opened its 12th all-time NCAA Tournament appearance with an 86-78 win over Truman State (Mo.) in the quarterfinal-round on Saturday in Louisville. Ferris State was making its third-straight NCAA Tournament appearance and returned to the regional semifinals a year after reaching the Midwest Regional title game despite having to replace four senior starters.
Ferris State loses only a single senior from this season's squad in standout guard Quentin Ruff, who helped the Bulldogs win a third-straight GLIAC Tournament Championship this year along with the program's first regular-season crown since 2012.
Historic Ferris State Basketball Season Ends In NCAA Midwest Regional Semifinals