King's Putback Lifts Ferris State Men's Basketball To League-Opening Victory

King's Putback Lifts Ferris State Men's Basketball To League-Opening Victory

Big Rapids, Mich. - A putback by junior forward Noah King in the closing seconds lifted the Ferris State University men's basketball squad to a thrilling 70-68 victory over Ohio Dominican on Thursday (Dec. 1) evening in the opening night of Great Lakes Intercollegiate Athletic Conference (GLIAC) action.

King tallied a game-high 18 points and rebounded a FSU miss with two seconds remaining to give the Bulldogs the league-opening triumph at the Big Rapids High School gymnasium. The junior forward hit four three's in the game and played a key role as FSU improved to 5-1 on the season.

Ferris State fell behind by as many as eight points in the opening half and trailed by three at the break. However, the Bulldogs rallied and a pair of three-pointers from King gave FSU a double-digit lead with 10:53 to play before the Panthers stormed back.

Ohio Dominican, which fell to 4-2 on the year with the loss, grabbed a four-point lead in the final two minutes, but a big three-pointer by FSU senior guard Quentin Ruff cut the margin to a single point with a minute remaining. After FSU eventually tied the game, the Bulldogs grabbed a big defensive board off a ODU miss and called timeout with 20 seconds to play.

Ferris State ran the clock down inside of 10 seconds and junior guard Mory Diane drove the lane, but came up short on a potential game-winner before King rebounded the miss and layed it in with time ticking away. A desperation pass downcourt by the Panthers was intercepted as time expired, giving FSU the victory.

Along with King, the Bulldogs received 12 points from junior guard Peter Firlik and 10 from Ruff. Diane added nine points in the triumph.

The Bulldogs had a big rebounding edge by a 44-33 count with 18 offensive caroms, which led to a 16-7 advantage in second chance production. Sophomore center Zach Hankins grabbed 12 rebounds and forward Markese Mayfield had 11 as FSU had two reach double-digits on the glass.

Ohio Dominican battled the Bulldogs all night as the Panthers shot 44.4% from the floor to FSU's 42.3% figure. They also hit seven-of-16 (43.8%) three's and 13-of-20 (65%) free throws in comparison to the Bulldogs' seven-of-25 (28%) figure from long range. FSU went three-of-six (50%) at the stripe.

Hasan Varence led ODU with 16 points on five-of-eight shooting and the Panthers also received 13 points from Ronnie Williams, who hit a trio of three's. Mike DeLeon added 11 points and Sam Hickey chipped in 10 points in the setback.

The game was virtually even most of the way with the lead changing hands eight times. A majority of the statistics were also virtually even with the Bulldogs netting 17 turnovers to 16 for the Panthers, but ODU held a 26-14 edge in points off the turnovers.

Both squads finished with 18 assists, which included a game-high eight from ODU's Shemar Waugh. Both Diane and Mayfield had four apiece to lead FSU. Additionally, both teams recorded eight steals and the Bulldogs had all three blocked shots in the game, including two from Hankins.

Overall, Ferris State outscored Ohio Dominican 36-30 in the paint and the Bulldogs received 24 points off the bench to 17 for the ODU reserves.

Ferris State will be back in action on Sunday, Dec. 4, as FSU hosts the Findlay Oilers to wrap up the weekend back at Jim Wink Arena on the FSU campus. Tipoff is set for 2 p.m. (ET) following the women's contest.