Postgame Highlights & Interview
Big Rapids, Mich. - The nationally #23-ranked Ferris State University men's basketball team trailed by as many as 13 in the first half, but erased the deficit to take a half-time lead to the locker room before defeating Wayne State 96-86 to open Great Lakes Intercollegiate Athletic Conference (GLIAC) play on Thursday (Dec. 5) inside Jim Wink Arena.
Ferris State sophomore forward Mason Pline finished with a team-best 21 points and nine rebounds off the bench in 22 minutes to lead the Bulldogs. Five Ferris State players finished in double-figures, with junior guard Walt Kelser adding 18 points, and junior wing Dorian Aluyi picking up 15. Senior forward Cole Walker and senior guard Greg Williams each had 13 points as well for FSU.
The Bulldogs trailed 24-11 with 11:52 to play in the first half but clawed back to take a one-point lead into the half at 43-42. Ferris State pulled away with a nine-point margin in the second half at 53-44. Ferris State shot 42.1 percent from the field in the first half but heated up to hit at a 55.2 percent clip in the second half.
Ferris State's depth proved to be too much, as the Bulldog bench out-scored Wayne State's 43-9 in the game.
From beyond the arc, the Bulldogs hit 13 three-pointers in the contest, including a 7-of-13 mark in the second half at 53.8 percent in the final 20 minutes. For the Bulldogs, Pline hit five of his 10 three-point tries to lead the way. Ferris State was strong from the charity stripe, hitting 19-of-22 (86.4 percent) from the free-throw line, while Wayne State hit just 10-of-16 (62.5 percent).
Wayne State was led in scoring by Brailen Neely, who finished with 33 points including shooting 8-11 from beyond the arc for the contest. Neely also had a game-high nine assists and nine rebounds.
On the glass, the Warriors finished with a 41-35 edge. Pline's nine rebounds led all Bulldogs in the game, as did his three blocked shots.
For Ferris State, senior guard D'angelo Hughes finished with a team-best seven assists. Eight of the nine Bulldogs that played registered one or more assists for a team-total of 25, while the Warriors finished with 22.
Ferris State, now 11-1 and 1-0 in GLIAC play, will next take on the nationally #10 ranked Ashland Eagles inside Wink Arena on Saturday, Dec. 7, at 5:30 pm ET.