Sault Ste. Marie, Mich. - The Ferris State University men's basketball squad rallied from a second-half defecit to record a 64-58 Great Lakes Intercollegiate Athletic Conference (GLIAC) triumph over Lake Superior State on Thursday (Jan. 5) night at Bud Cooper Gymnasium in Sault Ste. Marie.
The Bulldogs trailed by as many as 14 points in the first half and were down 31-25 at the break before outscoring the Lakers 39-27 in the second half.
The game was tied before FSU's Kenny Brown (Farmington Hills/Harrison) nailed a three-pointer with 48 seconds remaining. After a defensive stop, the Bulldogs made three free throws in the final 13 seconds to secure the win. Ferris State held LSSU scoreless over the final 2:40 of the game.
Ferris State opened the contest on a 9-3 run, but Lake Superior State answered with a 23-3 run to grab a 14-point lead with 8:50 to play in the initial half. FSU managed to whittle the lead down to six at halftime before the Lakers pushed it back to nine points only two and a half minutes into the second frame.
FSU eventually regained the lead with 12:18 to play and the score changed hands five more times before a jumper from Brown tied it back up with 1:37 left. Lake Superior State's Derek Kinney missed a layup with 1:19 to go and the Bulldogs answered with Brown's three-pointer with 48 seconds to play to finally take control of the outcome.
With the victory, the Bulldogs improved to 8-5 overall and remain tied for first place in the GLIAC North Division standings with a 5-1 league mark. LSSU dropped to 6-6 overall and 1-4 in the GLIAC.
Brown led FSU with 21 points while senior forward Jerrell Sanders (Grand Rapids/Creston) added 16 points. Junior forward Daniel Sutherlin (Detroit/Renaissance) added 13 points and 12 rebounds in a double-double effort.
LSSU was paced by Kyle Hunt with 21 points. Derek Billing chipped in with 11 points. Those were the only two Laker players to reach double-digits.
FSU made 23-of-44 (52.3%) free throws in the victory, including 14-of-24 (58%) tries in the final stanza. The Bulldogs were 16-of-42 (42.9%) from the floor and shot 55% (11-20) in the second frame. They made five-of-15 (33.3%) long range tries overall with Brown accounting for four of the makes.
On the other side, the Lakers shot 42.6% (20-47) for the game and hit seven-of-19 (36.5%) three's in addition to 11-of-19 (57.9%) free throws. The Lakers shot 50% from the floor in the opening half, but were held to just 33.3% (7-21) in the last 20 minutes.
FSU owned a 37-31 rebounding margin on the night and grabbed 13 offensive boards to only seven for LSSU.
Senior guard Dontae Molden (Detroit/Pershing) dished out seven assists for FSU and had two of the Bulldogs' six steals in the game. Sanders totaled three blocked shots and Sutherlin added two as FSU netted five blocks.
LSSU finished with 14 assists, six steals and a single block while pulling down seven offensive caroms.
The Bulldogs had nine players see action with four playing 31 minutes or more in the game. It also marked the return of senior center Jim Boylan (Grayling), who played four minutes off the bench to see his first action since Dec. 3. He returned from an injury in time to square off against his brother, LSSU's Mike Boylan.
Ferris State will visit Saginaw Valley State on Saturday (Jan. 7) for a 7 p.m. (ET) conference game in University Center, Mich. The game can be heard live on Sunny 97.3 FM or online via the Bulldog Sports Network.