Big Rapids, Mich. – The nationally 10th-ranked Ferris State University men's basketball team clawed out an 86-80 victory over the Wayne State Warriors on Thursday (Jan. 4) night at Jim Wink Arena in Great Lakes Intercollegiate Athletic Association (GLIAC) play, for head coach Andy Bronkema's 100th career victory at FSU.
The Bulldogs improved to 15-1 overall this season and moved to 5-1 in the GLIAC with the triumph.
Junior center Zach Hankins had a strong showing with 27 points and 11 rebounds for the double-double to go with six blocks as he led the Bulldogs in all three categories. Senior guard Drew Cushingberry scored 14 of his 16 total points in the second half to go with five assists and five rebounds.
Ferris State trailed 44-33 heading into the half and failed to hit a three-point shot in the first 20 minutes of the contest while the Warriors went 5-of-8 from beyond the arc. FSU shot 40 percent in the opening frame from the field. Hankins had 15 first half points, but no one else had more than four for the Bulldogs.
The Bulldogs came out of the locker room and slowly erased an 11-point deficit, outscoring the Warriors 53-36 in the second frame. Ferris State shot 56.3 percent in the second half, including a 2-of-2 effort from the three-point stripe by senior guard Noah King. The Warriors struggled, hitting 10-of-29 in the second half (34.5%).
Wayne State built its lead to as many as 16 points less than 90 seconds into the second period before FSU rallied.
All five Wayne State starters finished in double figures, led by Marcus Moore who had 25 points and shot 4-of-5 from beyond the arc. Wayne State only generated four points off the bench, though, in a combined 31 bench minutes.
FSU junior point guard DeShaun Thrower led the Bulldog second unit, scoring 10 points in 14 minutes off of the bench. Sophomore guard Greg Williams had seven points, including a late three-point shot to tie the game at 74-74 with 4:36 to play. The Bulldogs never trailed following the shot by Williams.
Ferris State wore down Wayne State with depth, putting up 22 points off the bench to the Warriors' four. In the paint, Ferris State outscored Wayne State 46-26 overall. Both teams were strong from the free throw line in a lot of chances. The game's 36 combined personal fouls allowed Wayne State 20 shots from the charity stripe with 17 makes while the Bulldogs shot 19-of-21 from the line on the night.
Overall, Ferris State outrebounded WSU 41-33 for the night and turned the ball over only eight times while outscoring the Warriors 15-12 in points off turnovers and 15-9 in second chance production.
Coach Bronkema, in his fifth year at the helm earned his 100th victory as the Bulldog head coach. Bronkema has compiled a 100-43 overall record (.699 winning percentage) to go with three consecutive NCAA Tournament Appearances and three-straight GLIAC Tournament Championships. The last three seasons are the winningest stretch in Ferris State men's basketball history.
The Bulldogs, who are a game out of first place in the GLIAC North Division, hit the road for their first-ever conference clash with the Davenport Panthers on Saturday (Jan. 6) at 3 p.m. (ET) in Caledonia.