Ferris State Pulls Out Pivotal Road Win In GLIAC Showdown For 12th-Straight Victory

Ferris State Pulls Out Pivotal Road Win In GLIAC Showdown For 12th-Straight Victory

Big Rapids, Mich. - The Ferris State University men's basketball squad rallied late to open up a two-game lead in the Great Lakes Intercollegiate Athletic Conference (GLIAC) North Division standings as the Bulldogs notched their 12th win in a row by beating Michigan Tech 77-76 on Saturday (Jan. 28) afternoon in a league showdown in Houghton.

The Bulldogs received a pair of late three's from senior guard Quentin Ruff and a game-winning steal from junior wing Peter Firlik in the closing seconds to pull out the win and wrap up a sweep on its two-game Upper Peninsula road swing. With the triumph, FSU now owns a 17-3 overall record and is 11-2 in the league.

Michigan Tech entered the contest only a game behind FSU in the GLIAC North Division standings, but the Huskies fell behind 40-28 at halftime as the Bulldogs built a double-digit lead.

However, MTU battled back with the home crowd behind it and grabbed the lead in the final minutes. The two squads squared off back and forth before a three-pointer from Ruff gave FSU the late lead. Ferris State, though, missed a couple of late opportunities at the free throw line and the final one with less than 10 seconds remaining provided the HUskies with one last chance to get the winning basket.

On the final possession, Firlik stepped in front of a pass near the top of the key and ran out the clock as the Huskies were denied a potential winning attempt. MTU dropped to 11-9 overall and 9-4 in the GLIAc as the Huskies are now two games behind the Bulldogs in a share of second place with Grand Valley State.

Ruff finished with a team-high 17 points for the Bulldogs while junior guard Drew Cushingberry added 13 points. Junior forward Markese Mayfield chipped in 11 points with sophomore center Zach Hankins totaling 10 points and 11 rebounds in a double-double effort.

Meanwhile, Michigan Tech received a game-high 28 points from Jordan Chartier in addition to 23 points and 10 rebounds from sophomore standout Kyle Monroe. Freshman Tommy Lucca added 10 points with six assists.

The Bulldogs received 29 points off the bench compared to only two for Michigan Tech and also outrebounded the Huskies 34-32 for the day, which included 12 offensive boards.

FSU shot 45.6% overall and connected on 11-of-25 (44%) three's in addition to 14-of-19 (73.7%) free throws. The Huskies finished shooting at a 44% clip and were 11-of-19 (57.9%) beyond the arc along with 15-of-16 (93.8%) at the line.

Overall, Ferris State finished with 11 turnovers and came up with five steals, five blocks and 11 assists in comparison to MTU's eight steals, one block and 10 assists. The Huskies had 13 turnovers and were outscored 14-7 by the Bulldogs on the offensive glass.

Ferris State will wrap up its three-game road swing with another big matchup on Monday (Jan. 30) at rival Grand Valley State. Tipoff is set for 8 p.m. (ET) inside the GVSU Fieldhouse Arena in Allendale. Following Monday's game, FSU plays five of its last seven contests at home inside Jim Wink Arena.

Saturday's win gave FSU only its third road sweep of all three Upper Peninsuala Schools in more than 10 years as the Bulldogs previously beat both Lake Superior State and Northern Michigan in the UP this year. It is also the second-straight year as the Bulldogs completed their first sweep of the three Michigan opponents across the bridge a year ago since FSU's 2008-09 squad accomplished the feat. The 2004-05 squad also swept all three squads up north en route to a NCAA-II Sweet Sixteen appearance.

Overall, this year also represents only the fourth time FSU has beat all three teams on the road in the same campaign since 1988 and it also gave the Bulldogs a third consecutive sweep of NMU and MTU on the same two-game trip after it had been done only two other times since the 1988-89 campaign prior to the last three campaigns.