Big Rapids, Mich. - The nationally fifth-ranked Ferris State University men's basketball squad bounced back in a big way on Monday (Dec. 18) evening as the Bulldogs improved to 13-1 overall heading into the holiday break with a convincing 94-68 triumph over regional foe Lewis (Ill.) at Godwin Heights High School in Wyoming.
The Bulldogs made it a sweet homecoming for junior forward Markese Mayfield, who returned to his prep alma mater and helped lead FSU to the victory against the Flyers.
Ferris State jumped out to an early lead and led throughout the contest, outscoring the Flyers 41-30 in the opening half while building a double-digit advantage.
In the second half, the Flyers managed to trim the margin back to single digits a few times before Ferris State seized control and put together a dominating run to outscore LU 53-38 over the final 15 minutes of action.
The victory was FSU's fourth in a row over the Flyers as the two teams met for the ninth consecutive year in a regional non-conference clash.
The game was played at Godwin Heights due in large part to both Mayfield and Lewis junior guard Delaney Blaylock, who also made his return to the facility where he played his prep basketball for the Fighting Wolverines.
Mayfield was one of three Bulldog players to reach double-figure scoring as he totaled 14 points to go with five rebounds and four assists in 19 minutes of work.
Meanwhile, sophomore big man Cole Walker tallied a career-high 21 points on six-of-six shooting from the floor and a six-of-seven effort at the free throw stripe in leading FSU. The Bulldogs also got a double-double from junior All-American Zach Hankins, who finished with 10 points, 10 rebounds and five blocked shots.
Lewis had four players reach double-figures with Cristen Wilson managing a team-high 15 points. Adam Pischke chipped in 14 points and Frank Vukaj had 13 points while Blaylock also netted a double-double in his return to Godwin Heights with 11 points and 10 rebounds to go with five assists in 35 minutes.
Overall, the Bulldogs shot 51% from the floor and hit 12-of-25 (48%) three's along with 18-of-24 (75%) free throws. FSU limited Lewis to only 40.3% shooting on the defensive end and the Flyers hit only three-of-12 (25%) beyond the arc in addition to making 11-of-19 (57.9%) free throws.
Ferris State outrebounded Lewis 44-37 for the night and came up with a 16-10 edge in second chance production on the strength of 13 offensive caroms. Lewis did own a slim 19-16 advantage in points off turnovers with 15 miscues on the FSU side compared to 14 for the Flyers.
In the game, FSU received 49 points from its bench with the Flyers totaling only 24 points from their reserves as Ferris State managed to play 15 different players in the game.
The win was FSU's 13th in 14 outings this season prior to the holiday break and it came after a close setback in GLIAC play on Saturday at 18th-ranked Lake Superior State.
Ferris State will break for the holidays before returning to action on Dec. 30 at Wisconsin-Parkside in another regional tilt against a Great Lakes Valley Conference (GLVC) foe. The Bulldogs then resume GLIAC action in the New Year at home on Jan. 4 versus Wayne State at Jim Wink Arena.