Columbus, Ohio - The Ferris State University men's basketball team used a strong second-half performance to remain one of only three teams still unbeaten in Great Lakes Intercollegiate Athletic Conference (GLIAC) action as FSU topped Ohio Dominican by a 80-68 score on Sunday (Dec. 15) night in Columbus, Ohio.
The Bulldogs opened a two-game road swing to Ohio by beating the Panthers at Alumni Hall for the fourth time in as many all-time series' matchups. FSU outscored ODU 47-30 in the second half.
By virtue of the victory, FSU joins Grand Valley State and Wayne State as the only remaining league schools yet to suffer a defeat in conference action this season. Ferris State improved to 3-3 overall and 3-0 in the GLIAC with its third consecutive victory.
The win also represented the first regular-season road victory for first-year head coach Andy Bronkema, who squared off against another first-year head coach in Ohio Dominican's Dan Evans.
The Panthers jumped out to a 38-33 halftime advantage in the second-ever matchup between the two teams played at Alumni Hall. FSU was held to only 38.2% shooting in the first half as Ohio Dominican also built a strong rebounding advantage at the break.
However, in the second half, Ferris State started quickly and continued to increase its advantage the rest of the way. FSU led by as many as 16 points with 4:19 to go as the Bulldogs hit on 19-of-33 (57.6%) field goals in the second frame.
Junior guard Drew Lehman led the Bulldogs with a game-high 21 points. FSU also received a significant contribution from sophomore center Jared Stolicker, who netted 16 points, 12 rebounds and five blocked shots in 28 minutes of action.
Bulldog sophomore forward Josh Fleming chipped in with 13 points and seven boards while junior guard Dietrich Lever tallied seven points, three rebounds, three assists and two steals in the winning effort.
The Bulldogs finished shooting 47.8% for the night and made four-of-12 (33.3%) three's along with 12-of-23 (52.2%) free throws.
Ferris State battled back on the glass in the second half as Ohio Dominican finished with only a slight 46-44 effort for the night, which included 19 offensive boards to 14 for FSU. However, the Bulldogs managed to outscore the Panthers 15-14 in second chance opportunities.
ODU was limited to only 34.7% shooting for the game and made only two-of-13 (15.4%) tries from long range along with 16-of-19 (84.2%) free throws.
The Panthers were paced by Trent Weaver, who totaled 14 points and 11 rebounds. Both Mark Minch and Chad Nelson added 12 points each while Brandon Carr scored 11 points and grabbed five rebounds.
Both teams handled the ball well most of the night as Ferris State had only eight turnovers to 10 for the Panthers. That helped lead to five steals on the Ohio Dominican side along with four for the Bulldogs. FSU posted a 12-6 margin in points off turnovers.
Ferris State also benefited from eight total blocked shots in the game, including the five from Stolicker. The contest featured five lead changes and was tied for times with ODU leading by as many as seven points late in the first half before FSU seized control in the second frame.
A majority of the game's points came inside the paint where Ferris State held a 46-44 edge. The Bulldogs also had 12 fast break points to six for the hosts.
With the setback, the Panthers dropped to 3-4 overall and 1-2 in the GLIAC this campaign.
Ferris State will compete its trip to Ohio by visiting Tiffin on Tuesday (Dec. 17) night for a 8 p.m. (ET) league tilt at the Gillmor Center in Tiffin, Ohio. The contest can be heard live on Sunny 97.3 FM and the Bulldog Sports Network online at FerrisStateBulldogs.com.
Following Tuesday's game, FSU returns home to host Cornerstone on Saturday (Dec. 21) in a non-conference afternoon matchup at Jim Wink Arena beginning at 3 p.m. (ET). The contest will mark FSU's final outing of the 2013 calendar year prior to the holiday break.