Findlay, Ohio - The Ferris State University men's basketball squad led for much of the way, but came out on the short end of a 74-69 Great Lakes Intercollegiate Athletic Conference (GLIAC) road decision against Findlay on Saturday (Feb. 18) at UF's Croy Gymnasium in Findlay, Ohio.
FSU jumped out to a 41-33 halftime advantage against the Oilers before a near sellout crowd. Junior guard Kenny Brown tallied 15 points in the first half as the Bulldogs shot 60% from the field in the initial stanza.
However, the Bulldogs held FSU scoreless over a big stretch of the final 10 minutes of the second half and knocked down some crucial free throws down the wire to pull out the win, which was UF's 76th-straight league regular-season home victory.
FSU held a 54-46 advantage with 13:37 remaining, but scored only one point in the next eight minutes as Findlay battled back. The Oilers took the lead at 58-57 with 4:45 to go and Ferris State could not pull out the triumph.
Brown paced the Bulldogs with 24 points in the contest while senior forward Jerrell Sanders added 14 points in the losing cause. FSU shot only 25.8% in the final half and was outscored 41-28 over the final 20 minutes by the Oilers.
Kyle Caiola paced Findlay with a game-best 25 points and knocked down 10-of-10 free throws, including several big ones in the closing minutes, to lift UF to the win.
Overall, Ferris State shot 41.1% for the contest and was five-of-22 (22.7%) beyond the three-point arc. The Bulldogs made 18-of-26 (69.2%) free throws.
On the other side, Findlay was able to shoot 50% for the day and connected on nine-of-20 (45%) three's in addition to 19-of-23 (82.6%) free throws.
FSU owned a slim 33-32 rebounding edge and grabbed 14 offensive boards while outscoring the Oilers 9-5 in second chance production.
Ferris State also posted a 16-12 advantage in points off turnovers by forcing 18 Oiler miscues in the game. FSU came up with 12 steals on those turnovers and had three blocked shots in comparison to Findlay's eight steals and four blocks.
The Oilers dished out 18 assists to 13 for Ferris State with Caiola garnering a game-high seven dimes. Senior guard Dontae Molden paced FSU with six assists while a pair of freshman guards, Dietrich Lever and Drew Lehman, both had three helpers off the bench. The trio of Molden, Lever and Lehman combined for 22 points and six steals.
Findlay's bench outscored the Bulldog reserves 29-16 for the contest while both teams finished with 28 points inside the paint in the game, which included seven ties and three lead changes.
With the loss, FSU is now tied with Northwood atop the GLIAC North Division standings with two games left in the regular-season. Michigan Tech trails the two schools by a single game heading into the final week of regular-season play.
The Bulldogs have clinched a spot in the GLIAC Postseason Tournament and could still potentially host a first-round quarterfinal game on Feb. 29 at Wink Arena.
The Bulldogs will host Hillsdale in their regular-season home finale next Wednesday, Feb. 22, at FSU's Jim Wink Arena. Tipoff is set for 8 p.m. (ET) for the "Senior Night" game and the Bulldogs will honor their three-member senior class prior to the contest.
FSU then visits Grand Valley State for the regular-season finale on Saturday, Feb. 25, in Allendale.