Allendale, Mich. - The Ferris State University men's basketball team came out on the short end of an 81-73 decision to West Michigan rival Grand Valley State in the final regular-season outing for both teams on Saturday (March 2) night at the GVSU Fieldhouse Arena in Allendale.
With the loss, the Bulldogs will drop to the number six overall seed for the upcoming Great Lakes Intercollegiate Athletic Conference (GLIAC) Tournament. FSU will visit third-seeded Findlay on Wednesday, March 6, for a GLIAC Tournament quarterfinal game at 6 p.m. (ET). The Bulldogs finished tied with Hillsdale for the fifth overall seed, but lost the tiebreaker as determined by the league office.
Sophomore guard Drew Lehman paced the Bulldogs with 17 points in the loss to GVSU while both freshman forward Josh Fleming and sophomore guard Dietrich Lever added 15 points each in the 100th all-time series' matchup between the two West Michigan rivals.
Ferris State, which won the first matchup a month ago with a 59-58 win at FSU's Jim Wink Arena (Feb. 2), lost for only the second time to GVSU in the last six matchups as the Bulldogs' three-game series' winning streak was halted by the Lakers.
Grand Valley State jumped in front early and led by as many as 14 points with 8:53 to play in the opening half of action. FSU cut the margin to seven at the break before the Lakers pushed the margin back to 14 points with 12 minutes to go.
Ferris State eventually pulled back as close as seven points with 2:24 remaining, but could get no closer as the Lakers secured the fourth overall seed and an opportunity to host the first round of the conference tournament.
Senior forward Tyrone Lee tallied a game-high 20 points and pulled down 17 rebounds after being honored as part of GVSU's Senior Night events prior to the contest. He was joined in double figures by fellow seniors Breland Hogan and Tony Peters with 12 and 10 points, respectively. Ricardo Carbajal also contributed 10 points off the bench.
Ferris State shot 51.1% for the game and hit seven-of-16 (43.8%) three's, but the Bulldogs made only 18-of-30 (60%) free throws.
Meanwhile, the Lakers hit 50% of their field goals and sank 50% (5-10) long range tries along with an impressive 30-of-36 (83.3%) effort at the free throw stripe.
Grand Valley State also dominated the boards as the Lakers hauled in 41 rebounds to only 19 for the Bulldogs, which included a 13-4 edge in offensive boards. That margin helped lead to GVSU's 19-8 advantage in second chance production.
Ferris State forced 18 turnovers, but the Bulldogs also had seven additional turnovers above their own season average as FSU totaled 17 on the night. Both teams had 11 steals in the game that featured four lead changes.
With the win, the Lakers improved to 18-8 overall and 15-7 in conference play while FSU fell to 14-12 overall and 13-9 in the GLIAC with its third loss in a row.
More information on the conference tournament will be announced soon.