Houghton, Mich. - The Ferris State University men's basketball team led for much of the way, but in the end the Bulldogs came out on the short end of a 74-71 decision against the Michigan Tech Huskies on Saturday (Dec. 18) in Houghton, Mich.
Michigan Tech fought back from a 15-point first half deficit and pulled out the Great Lakes Intercollegiate Athletic Conference (GLIAC) triumph down the stretch at the Student Development Complex Gymnasium.
The Bulldogs jumped out to a 38-29 halftime edge after leading the entire opening 20 minutes of the GLIAC North Division battle. Senior forward/center Justin Keenan (Grand Rapids/Ottawa Hills) paced FSU with 14 points in the first half while senior guard Darien Gay (Detroit/Henry Ford) also had 10 as the Bulldogs shot 48.3% from the floor in the initial stanza.
The Huskies grabbed their first lead of the day at 43-42 with 14:10 to play and Ferris was hampered by foul trouble down the stretch as both Keenan and Gay were saddled with four fouls for parts of the second half.
FSU held a 63-60 edge after a three-pointer from senior guard Matt DeHart (Greenville) and a free throw from Keenan on a four-point possession with 5:05 left, but the Huskies fought back and sealed the win by making four free throws in the final 36 seconds.
Keenan paced FSU with a game-high 26 points and 10 rebounds. He was joined in double-digits by Gay with 19 points and senior forward Lou Williams (Muskegon Heights), who added 11 points and seven rebounds.
Meanwhile, Mike Hojnacki led MTU with 22 points in the contest and the Huskies also received 15 points by Ali Haider and 13 from Don Fowler.
Both teams finished shooting 46% from the floor for the game and both teams also make six three-pointers with FSU finishing six-of-17 (35.3%) from downtown and the Huskies making six-of-18 (33%) tries. Ferris connected on 15-of-21 (71.4%) free throws compared to MTU's 20-of-24 (83.3%) showing.
The Bulldogs owned a 35-26 rebounding edge on the strength of 11 offensive boards. However, FSU turned the ball over 12 times with the Huskies only making seven miscues on the day.
With the setback, the Bulldogs fell to 6-4 overall and 3-2 in league play this campaign while MTU improved to 9-1 overall and remained unbeaten at 4-0 in conference action.
FSU is still searching for its first road win of the 2010-11 campaign as all six Bulldog regular-season victories have came at Jim Wink Arena.
Ferris State won't have much time to regroup as the Bulldogs will be back in action tomorrow for a league tilt against Northern Michigan on Sunday, Dec. 19, at the Berry Events Center in Marquette. Tipoff is set for 1 p.m. (ET).
Bulldog Bites: The Huskies increased their all-time series' edge to 54-51 over FSU with the victory .... This year marked the second consecutive year the Bulldogs led by 15 or more points in Houghton before the Huskies rallied back for the win ...... Darien Gay connected on five-of-eight three-pointers for the Bulldogs ...... FSU played nine players in the contest and eight scored ..... Ferris was outscored 32-24 in the paint ...... The game featured 11 lead changes and the score was tied five times.