Big Rapids, Mich. - The Ferris State University men's basketball team wrapped up the 2010 portion of its schedule with a key regional win over Wisconsin-Parkside by a 83-74 count on Wednesday (Dec. 29) in Kenosha, Wis.
The Bulldogs held a slim one-point edge at halftime (39-38), but outscored the Rangers 44-36 in the final 20 minutes to improve to 8-4 overall this campaign.
FSU returned to the floor after a week-long holiday break and shot 57.7% (30-52) from the floor in earning the win over the Great Lakes Valley Conference (GLVC) opponent.
Senior forward/center Justin Keenan (Grand Rapids/Ottawa Hills) paced the Bulldogs with a game-high 27 points and eight rebounds while playing 38 minutes in the game. He was joined in double-figures by fellow senior forward Lou Williams (Muskegon Heights), who netted 16 points in the win.
The play of the interior duo was a key for FSU as the Bulldogs played without injured sophomore forward Daniel Sutherlin (Detroit/Renaissance). Junior center Jim Boylan (Grayling) played an important role off the bench in reserve as he saw a season-high 15 minutes of action and grabbed three rebounds to go with two points.
FSU also received 13 points, eight rebounds and five assists from senior guard Darien Gay (Detroit/Henry Ford). Sophomore guard Kenny Brown (Farmington Hills/Harrison) contributed eight points while junior guard Dontae Molden (Detroit/Pershing) had six points, five assists and four rebounds.
Ferris made only three-of-12 (25%) three-point tries, but hit 20-of-25 (80%) free throws in picking up the victory at the DeSimone Gymnasium.
Defensively, the Bulldogs held Wisconsin-Parkside to only 38.6% (22-57) shooting, including a 36.1% (9-21) figure in the first stanza. The Rangers made seven-of-25 (28%) three's and 23-of-28 (82.1%) free throws.
Both teams turned the ball over 13 times in the game and the rebounding battle was relatively close with the Rangers holding a slim 33-31 edge on the strength of 14 offensive boards.
Ferris had 12 assists, eight steals and two blocked shots overall compared to UWP's 11 assists, six thefts and three swats.
Wisconsin-Parkside also placed three in double-figure scoring in dropping to 4-5 overall this campaign. Leneal Harris led the way with a team-high 20 points while Jeremy Saffold added 15 and Jordan Mach netted 14 points. Harris also dished out six assists for the Rangers.
Wednesday's meeting was the first between the two teams under ninth-year FSU head coach Bill Sall as the most recent prior matchup had occurred in 2000-01. FSU improved to 12-7 all-time against the Rangers by virtue of the victory.
The win also represented FSU's second consecutive victory of the 2010-11 season with both coming on the road. It marked the final non-conference regional tilt of the year for the Bulldogs, who finished with a 3-2 mark versus GLVC foes.
The Bulldogs open the 2011 calendar portion of their slate by taking on NCAA Division I Eastern Michigan on Tuesday, Jan. 4, in Ypsilanti, Mich. Tipoff for the non-league regular season tilt at the EMU Convocation Center is set for 7 p.m. (ET).
Ferris then returns home to resume Great Lakes Intercollegiate Athletic Conference (GLIAC) action against Lake Superior State on Thursday, Jan. 6, at 6 p.m. (ET) inside FSU's Jim Wink Arena in Big Rapids.
Bulldog Bites: Four Bulldog players played 30 minutes or more in the contest including Justin Keenan, Darien Gay, Dontae Molden and senior guard Matt DeHart (Greenville) ..... All nine Bulldog players that saw action scored in the outing ...... FSU led by as many as 12 points in the second half after the Rangers had led by five points in the first half of action ...... Ferris scored all eight fast break pooints in the game ..... FSU held an 18-12 edge in points off turnovers and a 36-28 advantage in points scored inside the paint ...... Both teams gained the lead five times on the night.