Hammond, Ind. - The Ferris State University men's basketball squad took over sole possesion of first place in the Great Lakes Intercollegiate Athletic Conference (GLIAC) standings on Thursday (Jan. 18) night, but it didn't come easy as the Bulldogs beat Purdue Northwest 92-78 in the first-ever series matchup at the Fitness and Recreation Center in Hammond, Ind.
The Bulldogs opened up a 46-39 halftime lead and outscored the Pride by the exact same margin in the second half while improving to a school all-time best 19-1 overall. FSU led overall for 38 minutes and never trailed in the game, but the hosts did manage to cut the game back to two possessions in the closing minutes before the Bulldogs held on for the triumph.
The win combined with Lake Superior State's close loss to Grand Valley State gives FSU a one-game lead atop the GLIAC.
Ferris State was led by senior guard Drew Cushingberry, who finished with a team-high 23 points and seven assists. FSU also got 18 points from junior guard DeShaun Thrower, who made his first start of the year and went six-of-nine from the floor and five-of-six at the line while also grabbing seven rebounds.
Senior forward Noah King added 10 points and hit two early three's.
Ferris State shot 47% for the game, including a 54% figure in the second half when FSU limited the Pride to only 36.4% shooting over the final 20 minutes of the game. The Pride finished at 44% overall and went seven-of-16 (44%) from three-point range along with 15-of-17 (88%) at the line in comparison to FSU's six-of-20 (30%) outside figure and 26-of-32 (81.3%) effort from the stripe.
The Bulldogs also outrebounded Purdue Northwest 42-32 for the game and pulled down 16 offensive caroms while outscoring the hosts 18-8 on the offensive glass. FSU also posted a 18-11 edge in points off turnovers as Purdue Northwest finished with 15 in the contest.
Ferris State will square off against rival Grand Valley State on Saturday (Jan. 20) night at the GVSU Fieldhouse Arena in Allendale with tipoff set for 8 p.m. (ET).