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Ashland, Ohio - The Ferris State University men's basketball team recorded its 10th victory in a row with an impressive 83-67 Great Lakes Intercollegiate Athletic Conference (GLIAC) road win over the Ashland Eagles on Saturday (Feb. 12) at AU's Kates Gymnasium in Ashland, Ohio.
The win improved the Bulldogs to 18-5 overall and 14-2 in league action with three games left on the regular-season slate. FSU also held onto its two-game lead in the divisional standings with the victory.
Ferris shot 55.2% (16-29) in building a 43-32 advantage at the break. Two free throws to start the second half after a technical foul as time expired in the first period quickly gave FSU a 13-point edge to begin the half and the Bulldogs never looked back as they outscored AU 40-35 over the final 20 minutes.
The Bulldogs led by as many as 25 points with 9:26 remaining in the contest and were able to play all 12 available players in the contest with nine playing nine minutes or more on the afternoon.
A balanced Bulldog lineup was led by senior forward Lou Williams (Muskegon Heights), who had 16 points to pace all FSU scorers and matched a personal season-high showing. He was joined in double-digits by senior guard Darien Gay (Detroit/Henry Ford) with 14 points while sophomore guard Kenny Brown (Farmington Hills/Harrison) added 12 points in his second-straight double-figure scoring contest.
The Bulldogs also received a game-high 14 rebounds from senior All-America forward/center Justin Keenan (Grand Rapids/Ottawa Hills), who added nine points and two assists in the victory.
Overall, FSU shot 54.4% (31-57) from the floor and hit nine-of-20 (45%) three-pointers in addition to 12-of-20 (60%) free throws. The Bulldogs connected on five-of-10 (50%) long range attempts in building their first half advantage and six different players made treys in the game for Ferris State.
The Eagles were limted to only 37.9% (22-58) shooting and made only two-of-17 (11.8%) three's along with 21-of-30 (70%) free throws. They were 0-of-8 from downtown in the final half.
Ashland owned a 38-33 rebounding edge, but FSU also forced 15 Eagle turnovers while finishing with only 10 miscues of its own. The Bulldogs tallied 23 assists with both Gay and senior forward Matt DeHart (Greenville) notching five apiece. Brown added four assists.
Ferris held a 13-2 edge in fast break points and never trailed in the contest. The Bulldog reserves also outscored the AU bench by a 28-23 margin.
Evan Yates led Ashland with 17 points while Kale Richardson totaled 16 points in the setback as AU fell to 12-10 overall and 6-9 in the GLIAC.
The victory was Ferris' 12th in its last 13 games to date this season. Ferris State's current 10-game winning streak is the program's longest since winning 11 in a row during the 2004-05 season when they last captured the GLIAC North Division Championship.
FSU improved to 14-6 all-time versus Ashland with the victory and the Bulldogs have now won eight of the last nine series' matchups.
The win enabled the Bulldogs to complete the sweep in their trip to Ohio after previously beating Lake Erie in the first-ever series' meeting by a 77-64 score on Thursday (Feb. 10) night in Painesville, Ohio. The victory at Ashland lifted the Bulldogs to a perfect 4-0 mark against the GLIAC's Ohio schools to date this season.
The Bulldogs will play their final three regular-season games at home inside Jim Wink Arena starting next Thursday (Feb. 17) when FSU hosts Wayne State at 6 p.m. (ET). The Bulldogs then take on nationally third-ranked Findlay on Saturday (Feb. 19) starting at 1 p.m. (ET) before hosting rival Grand Valley State in the regular-season finale on Saturday, Feb. 26.
All three remaining opponents have been ranked nationally this season, but FSU currently owns a 10-0 mark at home this campaign.
Bulldog Bites: Senior Justin Keenan now needs only 41 points to become the GLIAC's all-time career scoring leader (based on conference games only) ...... FSU is ranked ninth in the latest NCAA Division II Midwest Regional Rankings ..... A special "1,000 Wins Celebration" is planned for the regular-season finale versus GVSU to commemorate the program's 1,000 all-time victories and all former players are invited back to celebrate .... Keenan missed double-figure scoring for only the seventh time in 108 career games and only the third time in his last 82 contests .... The win was the 10th for FSU head coach Bill Sall against the Eagles (10-2) ........ Ferris had five steals and a blocked shot while Ashland managed three steals and two blocks with only nine assists ........ The Eagles outscored FSU 15-9 in second chance production as they came up with 14 offensive boards ....... Darien Gay reached double-figure scoring for the fourth time in the last five games ........ FSU has already clinched a GLIAC Tournament berth ........ Saturday's showing represented the seventh time this year the Bulldogs have scored 80 points or more in a game.