Postgame Press Conference
Big Rapids, Mich. - The nationally second-ranked Ferris State University men's basketball squad rode a hot first half to a 113-84 victory over the Saginaw Valley State Cardinals to open the Great Lakes Intercollegiate Athletic Conference (GLIAC) Tournament on Wednesday (Feb. 28) night at Jim Wink Arena.
Ferris State won its 18th consecutive contest and reached 30 wins for the first time in school history with the quarterfinal win over the Cardinals to advance to the GLIAC Semifinals, which will be hosted by the top-seeded Bulldogs at Wink Arena. FSU will play the opening semifinal game on Saturday (March 3) versus Ashland at 3 p.m. (ET) with the tourney title game set for Sunday also at 3 p.m. (ET) in Big Rapids.
The Bulldogs opened fire by shooting 62.5% in the opening half and led by 21 points at halftime. FSU then shot even better at 65.7% on 23-of-35 shooting in the second half to cruise to a 29-point margin of victory over the Cardinals.
Redshirt junior guard DeShaun Thrower led Ferris State with 20 points off the bench and shot 87.5% from the floor and 75% from beyond the arc in 22 minutes of action.
While Ferris State was able to go deep into its bench with the large halftime lead, junior center Zach Hankins added 12 points and 11 rebounds for a double-double to go with a game-high six blocks in just 19 minutes on the floor. Fellow junior and forward Markese Mayfield picked up 12 points, six rebounds and five assists in the game as well for the Bulldogs.
Off of the bench, redshirt sophomore forward Cole Walker had 10 points in 18 minutes and shot 50% from beyond the three-point stripe. Junior guard Greg Williams tied for the team lead in assists with five.
A total of 11 Bulldogs had six or more points in the contest as Ferris State's bench outscored the SVSU reserves 65-28 for the night. The Bulldogs also won the rebound battle 38-29 overall with 10 offensive caroms leading to a 16-15 margin in second chance production.
Ferris State also held a 17-10 edge in points off turnovers and dished out 32 assists with 12 blocked shots and 10 steals.
SVSU's Mike Wells Jr. led the Cardinals with 17 points, seven rebounds and five assists while Fred John Jr. pocketed 15 points for the contest. SVSU shot 48.6% overall and went five-of-15 (33.3%) beyond the three-point stripe along with 11-of-20 (55%) at the line.
The win enabled FSU to match a school-record with its 18th win in a row and the Bulldogs also improved to 17-0 at home this year while winning their 23rd-straight home outing dating back to last year.
The three-time defending GLIAC Tournament Champions will continue their quest for a fourth-straight league postseason crown at home on Saturday against Ashland for the third-time this year. Tickets for the GLIAC Semifinals & Finals will go on sale Thursday morning at 10 a.m. (ET). Stay tuned for additional postseason information.