November 23, 2013

Second-Half Run Sparks D2 Power Winona State Past Bulldogs In Minnesota

Big Rapids, Mich. - A big second half run sparked perennial NCAA Division II power Winona State (Minn.) to a 94-74 win over Ferris State in men's basketball action on Saturday (Nov. 23) afternoon at McCown Gymnasium in Winona, Minn.

The Warriors, who have ranked as one of Division II's most dominant programs over the past decade and claimed two national championships since 2006, held a slim 42-37 halftime advantage before outscoring FSU 52-37 over the final 20 minutes to earn the win.

FSU dropped to 0-2 on the year with a second consecutive setback on the road against a strong Division II program following Wednesday night's close season-opening setback at Lewis (Ill.).

Winona State improved to 4-1 on the year with the home court triumph.

In Saturday's contest against the Warriors, the Bulldogs were led by junior Matt Poches' team-high 14 points. FSU also received 13 points from sophomore forward Josh Fleming to go with 11 by junior guard Drew Lehman.

Meanwhile, junior guard Dietrich Lever totaled a squad-high four assists to go with seven points while FSU also received three assists by sophomore guard Jibreel Jackson, who added nine points in the setback.

Ferris State shot only 36.5% from the floor in the road contest compared to Winona State's 51.9% figure. Both teams hit 10 three-pointers in the contest, but the Warriors held an advantage at the free throw stripe where they connected on 28-of-39 (72%) tries compared to FSU's 18-of-25 (72%) showing.

Taylor Cameron led Winona State with a game-high 24 points in the contest and Mark Blacklock added 18 points to go with 10 each by Riley Bambenek and Isaiah Gray.  Kellen Taylor had a team-high nine rebounds for the Warriors, who owned a decisive 44-29 edge on the glass.

Sophomore center Jared Stolicker led the Bulldogs with five rebounds while junior forward James Chappell totaled four boards.

Ferris State turned the ball over only 12 times in the game as compared to Winona State's 14 miscues and FSU owned a 21-17 edge in points off turnovers.

The lead changed hands several times in the first half with the Bulldogs holding their last lead at 33-31 with 4:14 remaining in the initial frame.

This year marked the second consecutive year in which the Bulldogs have faced Winona State as the two teams previously met in Big Rapids last campaign. WSU finished the 2012-13 season with an impressive 27-8 overall record en route to the NCAA-II Elite Eight.

The slate doesn't get any easier for the Bulldogs as FSU will square off against another strong Division II opponent in Concordia-St. Paul on Sunday (Nov. 24) starting at 2 p.m. (ET) in Winona.  The contest marks the Bulldogs' final game in the early season crossover event, which also features GLIAC member Northwood.

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