Greenville, Mich. - The Ferris State University men's basketball
team emerged victorious in its first outing of the 2009-10 campaign
as the Bulldogs posted a 66-56 triumph over Aquinas in an
exhibition contest on Thursday (Oct. 29) evening at Greenville
(Mich.) High School's North Gym.
The Bulldogs led by six points at halftime and captured the win despite shooting only 34.9% (22-63) from the floor for the contest before a crowd of 650 fans.
After Ferris took a 29-23 edge at the break, the Saints rallied back and led 37-35 with 13:05 to play in the game. However, the Bulldogs then went on a 17-4 run over the next 6:45 to build its largest lead of the night at 11 points with 6:20 to go and maintained at least a five-point lead the rest of the way.
Four Bulldog players reached double-figure scoring in the contest. Junior forward Justin Keenan, a NCAA Division II Preseason All-American, paced Ferris with 17 points and 14 rebounds in a double-double effort.
FSU also received 12 points from both junior guard Darien Gay and senior guard Austin Randel along with 11 points by sophomore guard Dontae Molden, who dished out four of the Bulldogs' 16 assists in the contest.
Two FSU players saw their first-ever action in a Bulldog uniform, including freshman forward Daniel Sutherlin and senior guard/forward Jon Yeazel. Sutherlin scored six points, grabbed seven rebounds and blocked two shots in his debut.
Meanwhile, Bulldog junior guard Matt DeHart made his return to his hometown of Greenville and dished out a pair of assists while blocking a shot in a starting role.
Aquinas managed to keep the game relatively close throughout even though the Saints shot 37.5% (21-56) and turned the ball over 21 times.
Jamell Hatchett led Aquinas with 16 points while both Damacious White and John Lierman finished with 10 points. White added a team-high nine rebounds and six assists.
Ferris connected on eight-of-23 (34.8%) three-point tries and owned a narrow 42-41 rebounding advantage with 17 coming on the offensive end. The Bulldogs also sank 14-of-18 (77.8%) free throws, but had 15 miscues.
Aquinas hit only five-of-21 (23.8%) three's and was nine-of-16 (56.3%) at the stripe.
The Bulldogs blocked eight shots and came away with six steals in a game that saw seven lead changes.
Ferris State next hits the floor with its second exhibition game at NCAA Division I Dayton (Ohio) on Tuesday, Nov. 3, at UD Arena in Dayton, Ohio. Tipoff is set for 7 p.m. (EDT) between the Bulldogs and the Flyers, who are ranked among the nation's top 15 preseason teams at the Division I level in various polls.