Big Rapids, Mich. - Two-time defending Great Lakes Intercollegiate Athletic Conference (GLIAC) North Division Champion Ferris State went on the road and pulled out a hard-fought 80-74 overtime victory in its conference men's basketball opener against a much-improved Lake Erie squad on Thursday (Nov. 29) night in Painesville, Ohio.
The Bulldogs came back from a 12-point first half deficit and outscored the Storm 16-10 in the extra session to improve to 2-2 overall this season. Lake Erie suffered its first loss in dropping to 3-1 overall this campaign.
Senior guard Kenny Brown led the Bulldogs with a game-high and personal career-best 31 points. Three others also reached double-digit scoring as sophomore guard Drew Lehman netted 16 points, senior forward Daniel Sutherlin totaled 10 points and sophomore guard Dietrich Lever posted 10 points.
Sutherlin tallied a double-double effort with 11 rebounds while redshirt freshman center Jared Stolicker also had 11 boards and added seven points to go with three blocked shots. Lever paced the offense with five assists for FSU.
The Bulldogs trailed 33-24 at halftime, but outscored Lake Erie 40-31 in the second half and 16-10 in overtime.
Ferris State held a three-point lead with 33 seconds to go in regulation, but the Storm scored with 20 seconds remaining to cut the margin to a single point. After a free throw from Lehman with five seconds to play pushed the lead to two points, Lake Erie's Riley Thomas was able to drive the length of the floor and score with one second remaining to send the game to overtime.
In the extra session, the Bulldogs hit 11 free throws, including six in the final 25 seconds to secure the win.
FSU shot 47.3% (26-55) from the floor and connected on seven-of-24 (29.2%) three's along with 21-of-27 (77.8%) free throws.
The Bulldogs owned a slim 39-37 rebounding edge, but Lake Erie recorded 14 offensive boards to only eight for Ferris State. FSU also had 18 turnovers to 14 for Lake Erie. However, the Bulldogs managed to outscore LEC 17-13 in points off miscues.
Tom Parker and Riley Thomas both led Lake Erie with 18 points each while Jamil Dudley totaled 12 points in the setback.
Overall, the game featured five lead changes and the score was tied seven times.
With the win, the Bulldogs improved to 3-0 all-time versus Lake Erie.
Ferris State will wrap up its two-game trip to Ohio by visiting Ashland on Saturday (Dec. 1) for a 1 p.m. (ET) league tilt inside Kates Gymnasium in Ashland, Ohio.
Saturday's contest can be heard live on Sunny 97.3 FM and the Bulldog Sports Network starting with the Meijer Pregame Show at 12:30 p.m.