Big Rapids, Mich. - The Ferris State University men's basketball team won its ninth consecutive home contest as the Bulldogs avenged an earlier defeat to Northwood by beating the Timberwolves 83-71 on Thursday (Feb. 14) night in Great Lakes Intercollegiate Athletic Conference (GLIAC) play at FSU's Jim Wink Arena.
The Bulldogs won their second game in a row overall and improved to 9-0 in league home contests this year with the Valentine's Day victory over the Timberwolves in Big Rapids.
Ferris State, which played without starting senior forward Daniel Sutherlin due to injury, received key contributions off the bench in improving to 13-9 overall and 12-6 in GLIAC action. The win also enabled the Bulldogs to remain within a game of second-place in the GLIAC North standings.
Senior guard Kenny Brown led the way for Ferris State with a team-high 20 points and added two assists and two steals while making seven-of-16 shots from the floor. Meanwhile, sophomore guard Dietrich Lever had one of his best games of the year with 19 points, seven assists, six rebounds and two steals in 36 minutes of action.
Redshirt freshman center Jared Stolicker helped make up for some of Sutherlin's loss as he totaled 18 points, including a team-high 12 points in the first half of action. The 6-10 Stolicker also finished with six rebounds in the Bulldog victory.
Besides the three players who reached double-digits, the Bulldogs also were helped by the play of freshman forward Josh Fleming and junior forward Raymoan McAfee off the bench in the frontcourt. Fleming posted seven points with steals while McAfee contributed five points. Sophomore forward Trent Messer pulled down a team-high tying six rebounds to go with three points, two blocked shots, two assists and two steals in the win.
Additionally, FSU also received eight points from sophomore guard Drew Lehman while freshman guard Jibreel Jackson contributed four assists and three points in helping spark the Bulldog offense.
Ferris State shot 51.7% from the floor for the night, including a 56.7% effort in the first half of play. FSU made four-of-10 (40%) three's and hit 17-of-21 (81%) free throws.
On the opposite side, Northwood finished at 48.1% shooting, but was limited to only 37% in the opening stanza as FSU took a 41-26 lead at halftime. NU hit seven-of-21 (33.3%) three's and was 12-of-18 (66.7%) at the line.
The game featured four lead changes and was tied five times, but most of those came early as FSU led much of the way as Northwood's last advantage came at 22-20 with 5:55 remaining in the first half. From there, though, the Bulldogs closed the period on a 21-4 run in building a 15-point edge at the break.
Northwood managed to trim the lead back to seven points in the first three minutes of the second half before Brown answered with a three-pointer and FSU pushed the lead back to double-digits. Ferris State never led by less than nine points the rest of the way.
The Bulldogs tallied a 32-27 advantage on the boards and pulled down nine offensive caroms to only six for the guests. FSU also forced 15 Northwood turnovers and had only 11 of its own in garnering a 20-14 margin in points off turnovers.
Besides the edge on the glass and in the turnover category, Ferris State also distributed the ball well as evidenced by 19 assists and the Bullodgs were able to push the ball effectively with a 10-2 advantage in fast break production. The Bulldog reserves also outscored NU's bench by a 15-9 count.
Ferris State's nine steals included two apiece from four different players in the game.
Northwood, which fell to 10-12 overall and 9-9 in the GLIAC, was led by Andrew VanDierenDonck's game-high 23 points. Darvin Ham added 18 points while Cameron Joyce scored eight and Wes Wilcox totaled both seven points and seven boards.
Earlier this season, the Timberwolves had beat the Bulldogs 75-66 in Midland on Jan. 17 at the Bennett Sports Center. FSU improved to 55-25 all-time against NU with the victory and it was Ferris State's 13th win in the last 18 matchups to date, including the fifth in the last six meetings. Thursday night's triumph came before a "red out" crowd at Wink Arena.
The Bulldogs will try to remain unbeaten at home in conference play as they host Lake Superior State on Saturday, Feb. 16, at 12 p.m. (ET) inside Wink Arena. The game is one hour earlier than most Saturday afternoon starts due to a home tripleheader at the Ewigleben Sports Complex. The women's game follows with FSU hockey hosting Bowling Green State in its final Central Collegiate Hockey Association (CCHA) regular-season home tilt at 5:05 p.m. (ET), which will be televised live nationally by Fox Sports Detroit as part of "Hockey Day In Michigan" coverage.
Saturday's game will be aired live by Sunny 97.3 FM and the Bulldog Sports Network online at FerrisStateBulldogs.com starting with the Meijer Pregame Show at 11:30 a.m. (ET) from Wink Arena. Rob Bentley and Sandy Gholston will team up to call the action and a live pay-per-view video webcast will also be available.