Big Rapids, Mich. - Defending NCAA Division II National Champion Ferris State ran its school all-time best regular-season winning streak to 27 consecutive games as the Bulldogs officially opened the 2018-19 campaign with a 78-76 triumph over Fairmont State (W.Va.) in the Small College Basketball Hall of Fame Classic on Saturday (Nov. 3) afternoon in St. Joseph, Mo.
FSU, which was ranked 13th in the National Association of Basketball Coaches Preseason Division II poll, beat the 2017 national runner-up in Fairmont State. The opponents had received votes for the preseason top 25 and were 27th overall in the rankings heading into the year.
Ferris State built a 34-30 halftime lead and stretched the advantage to double-digits at one point in the second half before holding on down the stretch for the triumph.
Senior center Taylor Adway and junior post Cole Walker both led the way for FSU with 14 points apiece while junior guard D'angelo Hughes earned the start and finished with 13 points. FSU also got 11 points off the bench from redshirt sophomore Armani Tinsley.
Overall, Ferris State shot 41.1% from the floor and made five-of-15 (33.3%) three's with Tinsley going three-of-four from long range. The Bulldogs also hit 19-of-30 (63.3%) free throws.
The Bulldogs were outrebounded by Fairmont State 51-31 as Fairmont State pulled down 17 offensive caroms. However, Fairmont shot only 35.3% from the floor and went six-of-23 (26.1%) from downtown along with 22-of-36 (61.1%) at the charity stripe.
Jason Jolly led Fairmont State with a game-high 18 points while Vonte Montgomery added 14 points and Troy Cantrell scored 12 points.
This year marks the second consecutive season in which FSU has opened the season early at the Small College Basketball Hall of Fame Classic where the Bulldogs went 2-0 a year ago in Evansville. Ind., en route to starting a historic 38-1 campaign.
The Bulldogs will face preseason #5 Northwest Missouri State on Sunday (Nov. 4) to wrap up the event starting at 6:30 p.m. (ET) in St. Joseph. The contest will pit the 2017 National Champions (NW Missouri) against the 2018 National Champions (FSU) in Division II Basketball.