Big Rapids, Mich. - The Ferris State University men's basketball squad got off to a slow start, but battled back to register a 75-62 victory over Alma College in non-conference play on Tuesday (Dec. 6) night at FSU's Jim Wink Arena in Big Rapids, Mich.
The win was the fifth-straight victory for the Bulldogs and their third in as many regular-season home contests this campaign.
Alma bolted out to an early 11-1 advantage and led by four points (30-26) at halftime as FSU shot only 32.1% from the floor in the opening frame in comparison to the Scots' 52% (13-25) figure.
Alma increased its advantage to as many as nine points in the second half with 14:31 remaining, but the Bulldogs rallied back. FSU cut the lead to three with 11:24 remaining on a jumper from senior guard Donate Molden (Detroit/Pershing) and finally grabbed the advantage for the first time in the game with 7:27 to play on a free throw by junior guard Kenny Brown (Farmington Hills/Harrison).
From that point forward, the Bulldogs took control. FSU outscored Alma 25-13 the rest of the way and totaled 49 points in the final half compared to only 32 for the Scots.
After shooting only 32.1% from the floor in the first half, the Bulldogs shot 50% (20-40) over the final 20 minutes to finish with a 42.6% (29-68) shooting figure for the night. FSU was only five-of-18 (27.8%) beyond the three-point line and only 12-of-27 (44.4%) at the free throw stripe.
Meanwhile, Alma shot 50% (25-50) for the game and connected on seven-of-19 (36.8%) three's along with five-of-10 (50%) free throws.
Ferris State rallied back by forcing 20 Alma turnovers and the Bulldogs came up with 11 steals for the game. FSU posted a 22-10 edge in points off miscues.
The Bulldogs also grabbed 21 offensive boards to only seven for the Scots, which helped lead to a decisive 25-7 advantage in second chance scoring. Overall, the Bulldogs outrebounded Alma 42-33 for the game.
Junior forward Daniel Sutherlin (Detroit/Renaissance) led the Bulldogs with a game-high 20 points in the outing and grabbed seven rebounds. Senior forward Jerrell Sanders (Grand Rapids/Creston) added 16 points with a contest-best eight boards and also blocked two shots. Finally, freshman guard Drew Lehman (Toledo/Central Catholic) reached double-digits as well with 11 points and made three treys in addition to pulling down five boards.
Alma had only one player reach double-figures as Tommy Erickson scored a team-high 12 points. Both Sean Clancy and Chris Williamson totaled nine points each with Tyler DeLap and Brandon Krause contributing eight points apiece.
Brown led the Bulldogs with a game-high five assists as FSU totaled 11 helpers compared to only seven for the Scots. FSU netted four blocked shots while the Scots had four steals and no blocks.
The Bulldogs improved to 5-3 overall this campaign after losing their first three outings of the year while Alma fell to 2-5 overall on the season.
Ferris State returns to conference action on Saturday, Dec. 10, as the Bulldogs visit Northwood for a 6 p.m. (ET) league tilt inside the Bennett Sports Center at Midland, Mich. The game will not be available locally on Sunny 97.3 FM due to Bulldog Hockey coverage, but the broadcast can be heard live online via the Bulldog Sports Network at www.FerrisStateBulldogs.com.
Bulldog Bites: The Bulldogs' bench outscored the Alma reserves by a 26-21 count ..... Ferris State improved to 29-24 all-time against the Scots and the win was the fourth in as many tries versus Alma under head coach Bill Sall ...... Alma's first-year head coach is Sam Hargraves, who formerly played collegiately at Calvin for current Bulldog assistant coach Ed Douma and was also an assistant at Hillsdale under Douma alongside Sall ...... The game marked the first meeting between the two teams since 2007 ..... Ten Bulldog players saw action in the triumph.