FSU Falls In GLIAC Tourney Semifinals

Ferris' Dontae Molden & Findlay's Nathan Hyde battle for the ball in Friday's semifinal (Photo by Rob Bentley)
Ferris' Dontae Molden & Findlay's Nathan Hyde battle for the ball in Friday's semifinal (Photo by Rob Bentley)

Postgame Audio Report:
(MP3 File)

Findlay, Ohio - The Ferris State University men's basketball team saw its season come to a close on Friday (March 5) evening as the Bulldogs suffered a 82-69 loss to the Findlay Oilers in the Great Lakes Intercollegiate Athletic Conference (GLIAC) Tournament Semifinals at UF's Croy Gymnasium in Findlay, Ohio.

The Oilers jumped out to a nine-point halftime advantage as Nathan Hyde made six three-point baskets and tallied 20 points in the first frame for the defending NCAA Division II National Champions. Junior guard Darien Gay was able to keep FSU close for much of the half by sinking four-of-five three's to finish with 12 points in the period.

However, the Oilers were able to increase their advantage to double-digits to start the second half. FSU cut the lead down to four at 58-54 with 7:10 to play but could get no closer as the Oilers held on for the victory and increased their homecourt winning streak to 53 consecutive games.

FSU closed the season with a 16-13 overall record and the contest marked the final game for three Bulldog seniors in Josh Young, Austin Randel and Jon Yeazel.

Hyde led all scorers with a game-high 34 points while Jason Wehri added 12 points and both Tyler Sparks and Marcus Parker tallied 10 apiece for Findlay.  Parker also had nine assists in a near double-double effort.

Ferris was led by Gay's 23 points while junior forward Justin Keenan added 22 points.  Those were the only two Bulldog players to reach double-figure production.

The Oilers held a big advantage at the free throw stripe where they connected on 28-of-36 (77.8%) free throws compared to FSU's six-of-11 (54.5%) showing.  FSU was whistled for 27 personal fouls with the Oilers called for only 13 in the game.

Ferris shot 44.3% (27-61) overall from the floor and made nine-of-25 (36%) three-pointers.  Meanwhile, Findlay hit on 23-of-48 (47.9%) field goal tries and was eight-of-14 (57.1%) from downtown.

Findlay made only 10 field goals in the final half, but converted 21-of-27 (77.8%) free throws over the final 20 minutes to outscore FSU 43-39 in the period.

UF also forced 16 Bulldog turnovers and held a 26-12 edge in points off turnovers despite having 15 miscues of its own.  Both teams netted 32 rebounds with Ferris grabbing 10 offensive boards, including five from Keenan who finished with a game-best nine rebounds.

Finally, FSU netted 13 assists, six steals and four blocked shots with the Oilers managing 16 assists to go with 10 steals.

Findlay will advance on to Saturday's (March 6) GLIAC Tournament Championship game against number three seed Hillsdale which knocked off second-seeded Grand Valley State in the second semifinal game.

Bulldog Bites: Findlay improved to 16-4 all-time versus Ferris with the win ...... The Oilers claimed two of three meetings against the Bulldogs this campaign ......... Ferris was making its 11th overall GLIAC Tournament appearance and its first trip to the semi's since advancing to the title game in 2005-06 with a 64-62 upset of Findlay in the second round at Allendale, Mich. ......... Josh Young had six points in his final collegiate game with Jon Yeazel scoring four and Austin Randel chipping in three ........ The Bulldogs' held a decisive 31-14 advantage in points scored off the bench ...... The game featured three lead changes and the score was also tied three times .... A crowd of 1,076 fans was on hand at Croy Gymnasium as the Oilers improved to 121-2 at home over the past seven years.