Big Rapids, Mich. - The nationally third-ranked Ferris State University men's basketball team closed out the regular season with an exciting 75-64 triumph over archrival Grand Valley State as the Bulldogs won their 17th consecutive contest on Saturday (Feb. 24) in front of a crowd of more than 2,000 fans at FSU's Jim Wink Arena.
The win came on the Senior Day and was the 29th victory of the season for Ferris State, which sets a new program record and topped the 28 games won by FSU a year ago. The Bulldogs honored their five seniors following the game, including Drew Cushingberry, Noah King, Peter Firlik, TyQuone Greer and Greg Krusniak.
In addition, Ferris State also became the first team in Great Lakes Intercollegiate Athletic Conference (GLIAC) North Division history to finish with 19 league wins as FSU closed the regular-season with a 19-1 conference mark.
Ferris State was led by senior point guard Drew Cushingberry, who had 17 points to go with six rebounds and two assists. Fellow senior forward Noah King finished with 11 points and seven rebounds to go with four assists.
In a defensive battle, the Bulldogs took a 25-23 lead into the locker room at halftime and pulled away for a 50-41 margin in the second half to beat GVSU for the second time this year.
Both teams struggled to shoot the basketball, especially in the opening half, as the Lakers shot 39.7% overall with the Bulldogs shooting 39.1% from the floor. FSU went six-of-21 (28.6%) from three-point range and 19-of-28 (67.9%) at the line compared to GVSU's two-of-nine (22.2%) effort beyond the arc and 16-of-18 (88.9%) performance at the stripe.
The Bulldogs won the rebound battle 43-34 for the contest and pulled down 18 offensive boards in the win, which led to a 14-10 margin in second chance scoring. Ferris State junior center Zach Hankins had a game-high eight boards.
The Lakers were able to slow the fast break offense in stages as Ferris State scored only 12 points on the rush.
Off of the bench, the Bulldogs, though, owned a 28-17 advantage over the Laker reserves. FSU also tallied 16 points off of 14 GVSU turnovers.
Grand Valley State was led by Drake Baar's 19 points while Justin Greason picked up 12 points off the bench and Myles Miller scored 10 points.
The victory was FSU's 22nd in a row inside Jim Wink Arena dating back to last year and the Bulldogs improved to 16-0 overall at home this campaign heading into postseason play.
Ferris State will be the number one overall seed for the GLIAC Tournament and will begin the postseason at home by hosting the Saginaw Valley State Cardinals in the conference quarterfinals on Wednesday (Feb. 28) at Wink Arena with tipoff set for 7 p.m. (ET). With a quarterfinal-round win, FSU would then host the league semifinals and finals on Saturday and Sunday, March 3-4, in Big Rapids.
Stay tuned for additional information regarding the GLIAC Tournament.