Marquette, Mich. - The Ferris State University men's basketball team picked up its first road victory of the 2010-11 campaign as the Bulldogs beat Northern Michigan by a 73-63 count in Great Lakes Intercollegiate Athletic Conference (GLIAC) action on Sunday (Dec. 19) at the Berry Events Center in Marquette.
The contest was the second in as many days for the Bulldogs, who previously fell at Michigan Tech by a 74-71 count on Saturday (Dec. 18) after leading by as many as 15 points in the contest.
The win not only enabled the Bulldogs to earn their first victory away from Jim Wink Arena and a split on their trip to Michigan's Upper Peninsula, but it was also the 16th win in 19 career meetings for FSU head coach Bill Sall against the Wildcats.
Ferris State grabbed a 36-33 lead at the break after a relatively even first half of play, but slowly took control as the game moved forward. FSU's biggest lead came by 12 points with 3:48 remaining.
Senior guard Darien Gay (Detroit/Henry Ford) had the hot hand for FSU and finished with a game-high 28 points on nine-of-12 shooting for the Bulldogs. He hit five three-point baskets in the FSU victory.
Additionally, Gay also became only the 27th player in school history to surpass the 1,000 career points mark in Sunday's outing.
Senior forward/center Justin Keenan (Grand Rapids/Ottawa Hills) added 13 points for the Bulldogs in the win while senior forward Lou Williams (Muskegon Heights) chipped in with nine points and a team-high six rebounds.
Overall, Ferris State shot 43.6% (24-55) from the floor and made 11-of-27 (40.7%) three-pointers with the Wildcats playing zone much of the first half. FSU was 14-of-22 (63.6%) at the free throw stripe.
The Bulldogs owned a slim 35-31 rebounding edge, but had 15 offensive boards with Williams grabbing four on the offensive end. That helped lead to a 14-9 edge in second chance scoring.
Ferris State limited NMU to only 36% shooting in the final 20 minutes as the Wildcats finished with a 44% (22-50) shooting figure for the game. They were seven-of-20 (35%) from downtown, but only made two-of-10 (20%) long range tries in the final half. NMU converted 12-of-17 (70.6%) free throws.
Four NMU players reached double-digit scoring with Jared Benson and Matthew Craggs totaling a team-high tying 14 points apiece. DeAndre Taylor added 12 points and Matt Everson netted 10 points.
Ferris turned the ball over 16 times compared to only 10 for the Wildcats while both teams had five steals.
FSU had five blocked shots as Williams totaled four himself and dished out 15 assists with NMU recording 13 assists and two blocks.
With the victory, Ferris State improved to 7-4 overall and 4-2 in conference play this campaign. All six of Ferris' previous wins had came at home inside Jim Wink Arena.
NMU fell to 5-5 overall and 0-3 in the GLIAC with the setback.
The Bulldogs will break for the Christmas holiday before returning to action with a non-league contest at Wisconsin-Parkside on Wednesday, Dec. 29, in Kenosha, Wis. FSU then travels to face NCAA Division I Eastern Michigan on Jan. 4 in Ypsilanti before resuming league play at home versus Lake Superior State on Thursday, Jan. 6, at Wink Arena.
Bulldog Bites: Ferris outscored NMU 24-22 in the paint .... The game featured 11 lead changes with the score tied nine times ..... FSU received 17 points from its bench with a total of eight Bulldogs seeing action .... Junior guard Dontae Molden (Detroit/Pershing) and Darien Gay both had four assists apiece ..... Senior forward Matt DeHart (Greenville) pulled down five rebounds while sophomore guards Brandyn Mungo (Westland/Detroit Renaissance) and Kenny Brown (Farmington Hills/Harrison) both hit two three-pointers apiece and finished with six points each ..... Sophomore forward Daniel Sutherlin (Detroit/Renaissance) registered five points and added four boards ....... Ferris State defeated NMU for the 16th time in the last 19 meetings.