Ypsilanti, Mich. - The Ferris State men's basketball team grabbed the early advantage, but in the end it was Eastern Michigan that posted a 76-60 win in non-conference play on Tuesday (Jan. 4) evening inside the EMU Convocation Center in Ypsilanti.
Tuesday's meeting was the first between the two teams since a 66-47 Bulldog win on Feb. 7, 1973, in Big Rapids.
FSU led for much of the first half before the Eagles battled back to take a 38-32 edge at the break. Eastern Michigan connected on six-of-11 (54.5%) three-point tries in the first stanza with Derek Thompson hitting four three's for 14 points in the initial frame.
The Bulldog lead had been by as many as eight points with 14:18 to go in the opening 20 minutes and EMU didn't take its first lead of the game until the final 3:30 of the first half.
The Eagles continued to build their lead to start the second half and led by as many as 19 points with 11:46 to go in improving to 3-10 overall this year. FSU managed to trim the deficit down to nine points with 6:30 to go, but could get no closer.
Ferris State dropped to 8-5 overall and saw its two-game winning streak come to an end despite a game-high 23 points from senior guard Darien Gay (Detroit/Henry Ford) on nine-of-11 shooting, including a five-of-seven effort from beyond the three-point arc.
Gay was joined in double-digits by senior forward/center Justin Keenan (Grand Rapids/Ottawa Hills), who added 14 points and nine boards in 34 minutes of action. He had 12 points in the first half of play.
Meanwhile, EMU was paced by Thompson's team-best 19 points. Brandon Bowdry chipped in with 18 points and 11 boards while Darrell Lampley totaled 12 points. He also had eight assists in directing the Eagles' offense.
Eastern Michigan shot 50% (29-58) from the field and was eight-of-19 (42.1%) beyond the three-point line along with 10-of-15 (66.7%0 a the stripe.
Ferris State was limited to only 40.7% (22-54) shooting and was nine-of-24 (37.5%) from long range in addition to hitting seven-of-14 (50.9%) tries from the charity stripe.
The host Eagles grabbed a 38-25 edge on the boards and came away with 14 offensive caroms, which helped lead to a 18-8 margin in second chance scoring. They also outscored FSU 34-16 in the paint.
Overall, Ferris had just seven assists with two steals and a single block in comparison to EMU's 16 assists, six thefts and three swats.
The Bulldogs turned the ball over 11 times as Eastern Michigan owned a 21-8 advantage in points off miscues for the night. EMU netted only 10 turnovers of its own.
FSU returns home to host Lake Superior State in Great Lakes Intercollegiate Athletic Conference (GLIAC) play on Thursday (Jan. 6) night with tipoff set for 6 p.m. (ET) inside FSU's Jim Wink Arena. Fans can "regift their way to free admission" by bringing and unwrapped and unwanted gift or canned good. All items will be donated to the local Salvation Army.
Bulldog Bites: The announced crowd for the game was 485 fans ...... The game featured only a single lead change and the score was tied just twice ..... EMU's bench outscored the Bulldog reserves 15-6 for the contest ...... The Bulldogs did own a slim 10-6 margin in fast break production ..... Senior forward Matt DeHart (Greenville) contributed six points and a team-high three assists for FSU ..... Junior guard Dontae Molden (Detroit/Pershing) had both of the Bulldogs' steals ..... Jamell Harris blocked all three shots for Eastern Michigan .... EMU improved to 15-3 all-time versus FSU in a series' that dates back to the 1931-32 campaign.