Late Rally Lifts MTU Over The Bulldogs

FSU's Justin Keenan drives with the ball at MTU (Photo courtesy Michigan Tech)
FSU's Justin Keenan drives with the ball at MTU (Photo courtesy Michigan Tech)

Postgame Audio Report
(MP3 File) - (Windows Media Version)

Houghton, Mich. - Host Michigan Tech fought back from a large second half deficit and pulled out a dramatic 70-67 win over Ferris State in Great Lakes Intercollegiate Athletic Conference (GLIAC) men's basketball play on Thursday (Feb. 11) evening at MTU's Student Development Complex Gymnasium in Houghton, Mich.

Ferris State led by 17 points with 15:23 to play in the contest and still held an 11-point lead when leading scorer Justin Keenan fouled out of the game with 4:24 to play. 

However, the Huskies scored the final 14 points of the game from that point on, including a game-winning three-pointer from Mike Hojnacki with 17.8 seconds to play.  FSU had three attempts to tie the game in the final 10 seconds, but all three long-range tries came up empty.

Despite foul trouble in the opening half, the Bulldogs built a 38-29 halftime edge behind a 50% (14-28) shooting effort in the initial frame, which included a seven-of-11 (63.6%) showing from beyond the arc.  FSU led by as many as 13 points in the first half, but had five players called for two fouls or more in the first 20 minutes of the contest.

FSU stretched its lead to 53-36 only five minutes into the second frame before both Keenan and junior forward Lou Williams fouled out of the game in the final half.

Hojnacki finished with a game-high 20 points for Michigan Tech, which improved to 7-15 overall and 6-11 in the GLIAC with the triumph.  He was joined in double-figure scoring by Matt Gaedke with 19 points and Brian Olley, who had 11 points.

Keenan paced FSU with a game-high tying 20 points in 25 minutes of play, but was only six-of-13 from the free throw line as Ferris shot only 52.6% (10-19) from the stripe for the game.

FSU also received 14 points from senior guard Austin Randel and 11 points by sophomore guard Dontae Molden in dropping to 13-9 overall and 11-6 in conference action.

Ferris shot 47.1% (24-51) from the floor and made nine-of-18 (50%) three-pointers with 11 turnovers.

Meanwhile, MTU converted 25-of-59 (42.4%) field goals and hit six-of-17 (35.3%) three's along with a 14-of-23 (60.9%) showing at the line.  They also had 11 miscues.

Michigan Tech owned a decisive 45-28 rebounding edge and came up with 21 offensive boards against an often-smaller Bulldog lineup.  That led to a 21-4 Husky advantage in second chance scoring for the night.

The Huskies also outscored FSU 32-16 in the paint and received 22 points off their bench compared to only 13 for Ferris in a game that saw only three lead changes.

FSU turned the ball over three times and missed all six of its field goal tries in the final four minutes of the game.

Ferris State continues its trip to Michigan's Upper Peninsula by visiting Northern Michigan on Saturday, Feb. 13, for an 1 p.m. (EST) league contest inside the Berry Events Center at Marquette, Mich.