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Grand Rapids Press Game Story
Big Rapids, Mich. - The Ferris State University men's basketball squad had four players reach double-figure scoring as the Bulldogs pulled out a 65-57 victory over archrival Grand Valley State in a showdown on Saturday (Jan. 28) at FSU's Jim Wink Arena.
The Bulldogs built an 11-point halftime advantage in the West Michigan rivalry matchup and outscored GVSU 17-3 in points off turnovers as they took over first place in the Great Lakes Intercollegiate Athletic Conference (GLIAC) North Division standings before a crowd of 1,763 fans.
FSU's win combined with Michigan Tech's setback at Hillsdale gives the Bulldogs a half-game lead atop the GLIAC North Division with eight regular-season outings remaining. FSU, which is the defending divisional champion, improved to 11-7 overall and 8-3 in league play with the win.
Ferris State received 18 points from both junior guard Kenny Brown (Farmington Hills/Harrison) and senior guard Dontae Molden (Detroit/Pershing), who connected on four three-pointers. Meanwhile, junior forward Daniel Sutherlin (Detroit/Renaissance) and senior forward Jerrell Sanders (Grand Rapids/Creston) totaled 14 and 11 points, respectively, to help the Bulldog cause.
FSU limited Grand Valley State to only 37.5% (12-32) shooting in the final half. The Lakers shot 52.6% (10-19) in the first half, but still trailed by 11 at the break as FSU turned the ball over only once in the initial frame to eight for GVSU.
Ferris State finished with only six turnovers for the outing and held a significant edge in points off miscues as the Lakers finished with 16 turnovers.
FSU bolted out to an early 11-2 advantage only five minutes into the game. The lead grew to 11 points at the break and eventually to as many as 15 points with 6:57 to go. GVSU trimmed the margin down to five points with 1:40 left, but Sanders answered with a thunderous dunk only 20 seconds later. Both Molden and Brown added two free throws each in the final 41 seconds to ice the win.
Both Breland Hogan and James Thomas totaled 13 points each for Grand Valley State, but were the only two Lakers to reach double-digit scoring. Tyrone Lee pulled down a game-high 12 rebounds as GVSU outrebounded the Bulldogs 40-28 for the day.
Ferris State shot 42.9% (24-56) from the floor and made six-of-19 (31.6%) three's to go with an 11-of-18 (61.1%) showing at the free throw stripe. GVSU finished shooting 43.1% (22-51) for the afternoon and was six-of-17 (35.3%) beyond the arc along with seven-of-nine (77.8%) at the line.
FSU came up with 10 steals on GVSU's 16 turnovers as Molden recorded three and Sutherlin added two. Sanders dished out a game-high tying four assists for FSU as both teams finished with 10 helpers in the outing.
While Grand Valley State held the rebounding edge, the Bulldogs did manage to outscore the Lakers 13-10 in second chance production as each team grabbed 10 offensive caroms. The Lakers held a 26-24 margin in points scored inside the paint and a 13-2 difference in bench scoring as all but one of FSU's baskets came from its five starters.
The combination of Brown, Molden, Sutherlin and Sanders combined to scored 61 of FSU's 65 points in the game. FSU never trailed in the game.
The win capped a Bulldog sweep over the Lakers in Big Rapids as the FSU women's team also beat GVSU 58-50 in the opening game of the twinbill. It marks the first time the Bulldogs have swept FSU in a doubleheader since doing it twice during the 2003-04 season. Both Bulldog teams reside in first place in the GLIAC North.
The victory was FSU's 50th all-time win over GVSU in men's basketball action as FSU took a 50-47 all-time series' edge with the win in the 97th series' matchup. The two teams have split the last eight meetings.
GVSU fell to 10-8 overall and 6-6 in the GLIAC with Saturday's setback.
The Bulldogs continue their five-game league homestand by hosting Lake Superior State on Thursday, Feb. 2, at 8 p.m. (ET) inside Jim Wink Arena. FSU then hosts Saginaw Valley State on Saturday, Feb. 4, starting at 3 p.m. (ET).