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Bloomington, Ind. - The Ferris State University men's basketball team gave it everything it had, but came out on the short end of a 78-65 overtime decision against the Indiana Hoosiers in men's basketball exhibition play on Monday (Nov. 8) night at Assembly Hall.
FSU led by as many as 13 points in the game with 7:30 left and the lead remained at 10 points with three minutes to go in the contest before the Hoosiers rallied before a crowd of 14,298 frenzied fans.
"First, I want to thank Coach Crean for inviting us down here," said FSU head coach Bill Sall. "It was absolutely a thrill to come down here and play in Assembly Hall.
"We played quite good basketball for a long period of time, but shot 20-of-38 from the free throw line and turned it over 25 times. Last time I checked that makes it kind of difficult to win."
Ferris held a slim four-point edge until Indiana tied up the contest with 11 seconds to play when freshman Victor Oladipo was fouled while connecting on a three-point shot. After game officials reviewed the play to determine it was a trey, Oladipo made the free throw to tie the game at 61 points apiece.
The Bulldogs played for the final possession and Oladipo blocked a FSU layup, giving Ferris the ball out of bounds on the baseline with 1.4 seconds left. A potential game-winning jumper from Ferris State junior forward Jerrell Sanders went in as time expired in regulation and the Bulldog players stormed the floor, but was later waved off after another replay review by the game officials.
Indiana then proceeded to score the first 12 points of overtime to pull out the come from behind victory. In all, the Hoosiers held the Bulldogs to one field goal in a 14-minute span of the second half and used an 18-0 combined run in regulation and overtime to earn the win.
"It was probably a fingertip away," Sall said, about the potential game-winner from Sanders. "We were going to win the game, but the momentum completely changed. Either we were going to win the game right there on the buzzer or we were not going to get it done."
Ferris State jumped out to a 35-32 halftime lead against the Hoosiers after shooting 59.1% in the opening half of play.
Senior forward Justin Keenan paced FSU with 14 points in the opening frame despite sitting on the bench the final five minutes of the opening stanza due to picking up his second personal foul. He later fouled out of the game with 1:06 left in regulation as FSU was forced to play the final minute of regulation and all of the extra session without the Division II Preseson National Player of the Year.
Keenan finished the game with a team-high 21 points for FSU. He was joined in double-digits by sophomore guard Kenny Brown with 18 points while Sanders provided a big contribution at both ends of the floor with nine points, a game-high 10 rebounds, four assists and four steals.
Christian Watford led Indiana with a game-high 25 points and seven rebounds. Maurice Creek added 15 points and Oladipo tallied 14 points, including the game-tying four-point play late in regulation.
"That team right there (Ferris), that team's good enough to win a lot of games," said Indiana head coach Tom Crean. "They were so much better tonight than what they were in their first exhibition and really from what we saw last year on tape.
"I was nervous when we took this game because I know what kind of program they have. I grew up 45-50 minutes away from the school and my nervousness was justified," said the Mount Pleasant (Mich.) native.
FSU shot 43.8% (21-48) for the night, but was only three-of-nine (33.3%) from beyond the three-point arc and 20-of-38 (52.6%) at the free throw stripe where the Bulldogs missed five free throws in the final three minutes of regulation play.
Meanwhile, the Hoosiers were held to 36.9% (24-65) shooting, including only 28.1% (9-32) shooting in the second half of play prior to a perfect (5-5) showing in overtime. Indiana made seven-of-27 (25.9%) three-pointers and hit 23-of-28 (82.1%) free throws.
Ferris suffered from 25 turnovers in the outing and the Hoosiers held a preseason All-Great Lakes Intercollegiate Athletic Conference (GLIAC) selection scoreless in FSU senior guard Darien Gay, who finished 0-of-7 for the night.
However, the Bulldogs led throughout the second half after opening the second frame on a 10-2 run in the initial five minutes.
FSU benefited from a 41-40 rebounding edge and the Bulldogs also forced 20 Indiana turnovers, which resulted in 11 steals. The Bulldogs totaled nine assists and three blocked shots compared to Indiana's 12 assists and seven blocks with the Hoosiers netting 13 steals.
Monday's meeting was the first-ever matchup between the Bulldogs and Hoosiers. Crean, who is in his third year as Indiana's head coach, formerly was the head coach at Marquette University after a stint on Tom Izzo's staff at Michigan State.
Ferris State will officially open its 2010-11 campaign by hosting the Calvin Knights on Saturday, Nov. 13, at FSU's Jim Wink Arena in Big Rapids. Tipoff is set for 7:30 p.m. (ET).
Bulldog Bites: The announced crowd of 14,298 fans topped the nearly 12,000 fans who watched FSU play an exhibition game last year at Dayton and figures to be one of the largest crowds a Bulldog team has ever played in front of in school history ....... FSU had won five of its last six exhibition tilts prior to the setback, but has not defeated an NCAA Division I school since a regular-season road win at Oakland in 2000-01 (11/21) ...... Ferris will square off against a D1 school later this year with a regular-season road tilt at Eastern Michigan on Jan. 4, 2011 ........ The Bulldogs' bench outscored the Hoosier reserves by a 31-12 count for the game ...... The contest featured six league changes and the score was also tied six times.
Important Note: Monday night's game will be replayed via television by the Big Ten Network on Wednesday (Nov. 10) at 3:30 p.m. (ET) or an alternate time listed of 4:30 p.m. (ET) by some providers. Please check your local listing for channel availability.