Ashland, Ohio - An incredible finish continued the third-ranked Ferris State University men's basketball squad's win streak as the Bulldogs won a Great Lakes Intercollegiate Athletic Conference (GLIAC) thriller over the Ashland Eagles 97-91 in overtime on Saturday (Feb. 10) at Kates Gymnasium.
The Eagles built a 10-point lead with 6:32 to go in the game before the veteran Bulldogs rallied down the stretch. Senior guard Peter Firlik hit a key free throw to knot the game up with 16.7 seconds to play, but AU's Drew Noble answered with a three to give AU the advantage with 1.5 seconds to play.
However, the Bulldogs found an answer as FSU drew up a potential game-tying three-pointer following the Ashland basket. Junior forward Andrew Meacham came on and found Firlik just across the midcourt line, who fired up the shot and banked it in at the buzzer to force overtime.
In the extra session, FSU outscored the Eagles 21-15 and hit 15-of-17 (88.2%) tries at the free throw stripe to pull out the victory and move to 25-1 overall and 15-1 in the GLIAC.
The win was FSU's 13th-straight of the year and allowed FSU to hold onto a three-game lead atop the conference standings with only four games remaining in the regular season.
The Bulldogs got a team-high 23 points from junior center Zach Hankins, who fouled out of the game late. He was joined in double-digits by senior forward Noah King and senior guard Drew Cushingberry with 14 points each. The senior duo's play proved pivotal down the stretch.
Additionally, Firlik added 10 points and seven rebounds in a solid all-around performance with senior forward TyQuone Greer coming off the bench to also score 10 points. FSU's bench overall outscored the Ashland reserves by a 30-4 count.
Standout senior Wendell Davis paced the Eagles with a game-high 31 points and eight rebounds while Noble added 26 points on nine-of-21 shooting, including three-of-10 from downtown. Marsalis Hamilton chipped in 16 points and Ben Haraway added 11 for the Eagles, who fell to 16-8 overall and 9-7 in the GLIAC.
Ferris State owned a 40-31 rebounding edge and grabbed 14 offensive caroms, which led to a 20-7 advantage in second chance scoring. The Bulldogs also outscored the Eagles 21-14 in points off turnovers as they forced 14 in the contest.
Overall, both teams shot 49% from the floor with AU hitting 10-of-24 (41.7%) three's compared to FSU's seven-of-20 (35%) effort. FSU made 24-of-30 (80%) free throws with the Eagles converting on 23-of-32 (71.9%) tries.
The game overall featured 16 lead changes and was tied seven times between the two conference rivals, who have been the league's top two teams in postseason play the last two years. It was only AU's second home loss in 13 tries this season.
The Bulldogs will head to Michigan's Upper Peninsula next week with a chance to capture a second-straight GLIAC Regular Season Championship in outright fashion. FSU first visits Michigan Tech on Thursday (Feb. 15) for a 7:30 p.m. (ET) game in Houghton before facing Northern Michigan on Saturday (Feb. 17) in Marquette at 1 p.m.