Big Rapids, Mich. - The Ferris State University men's basketball squad, which climbed to #5 this week in the National Association of Basketball Coaches (NABC) Division II poll, needed a late run to hold off Olivet College in a high-scoring 99-84 afternoon tilt on Tuesday (Nov. 21) inside FSU's Jim Wink Arena.
The Bulldogs trailed Olivet by one at halftime, 49-48, but made enough plays down the stretch to pull out the win and improve to 7-0 on the year. The contest was a special school day game played in front of local elementary students from surrounding schools.
Olivet got off to a quick start and led by four points less than four minutes into the game before the Bulldogs took the lead. It was back and forth much of the way with neither team leading by more than seven points in the first half.
Overall, the game featured 10 lead changes and it was tied nine times before the Bulldogs turned up the pressure down the stretch. FSU led overall for more than 29 minutes in the contest.
Both teams shot the ball well with FSU connecting on 51% of its field goals in comparison to Olivet's 48% figure. FSU hit nine-of-22 (41%) three's with the Comets going seven-of-18 (38.9%) from long range.
The Bulldogs were led by senior guard Drew Cushingberry's team-high 25 points and eight assists in 31 minutes of work. Meanwhile, junior center Zach Hankins added a double-double with 16 points and 13 rebounds in the victory.
FSU also received 15 points, six rebounds and five assists from senior forward Noah King along with 11 points from guard DeShaun Thrower. Junior forward Markese Mayfield added eight points and seven rebounds while senior guard Peter Firlik also chipped in eight points and three assists.
Olivet got an outstanding game from guard Jalen Adams, who finished with a game-high 32 points and 13 rebounds in 36 minutes. Fellow guard Tracy Edmond added 16 points, Eldridge Mason scored 11 points and Aaron Washington notched 10 points.
The Comets were outrebounded 42-38 by the Bulldogs and had 21 turnovers, which gave FSU a 26-21 margin in points off turnovers and a 17-13 edge in second chance production. Overall, FSU also outscored the Comets 48-40 in the paint.
Behind Cushingberry's eight assists, the Bulldogs recorded an impressive 30 assists on the day as they continued to share the ball. FSU also had 17 steals, including four off the bench from Jaylin McFadden and came up with seven blocked shots.
The Bulldogs also held an advantage at the free throw stripe where they went 16-of-22 (72.7%) in comparison to Olivet's nine-of-17 (52.9%) figure.
Ferris State returns to action at home this Saturday (Nov. 25) evening as the Bulldogs host former conference rival Findlay in a rematch of last year's NCAA Division II Midwest Regional Semifinals at Jim Wink Arena. Tipoff against the #18 Oilers is set for 6 p.m. (ET).