Big Rapids, Mich. - The nationally fifth-ranked Ferris State University men's basketball team remained perfect to start the year and opened Great Lakes Intercollegiate Athletic Conference (GLIAC) action with a 99-83 victory over the Tiffin Dragons on Thursday (Nov. 30) night inside FSU's Jim Wink Arena.
The Bulldogs improved to 9-0 on the season while starting league play with a win on "Tropical Night" in Big Rapids.
Ferris State senior guard Noah King lit up the board for 20 points to lead all scorers, and made six three pointers, including five in the second half. Senior guard Drew Cushingberry went for a double-double on 18 points and 12 assists.
The Bulldogs clawed out a five-point lead at the half, 38-33, and pulled away when King erupted in the second half. FSU outscored the Dragons by 11 in the second half of play.
Ferris State raced away with 36 fast-break points to Tiffin's 14 and the Bulldogs got 27 points off the bench to Tiffin's eight as the depth wore down the Dragons.
For the night, the Dragons had the edge on the glass with a 39-33 margin over Ferris State.
While the Bulldogs struggled to shoot in the opening half, they heated up and finished at 55.7% for the night in comparison to the Dragons' 47.7% effort.
The Bulldogs hit nine three-point shots and shot 42.9% from beyond the arc with the Dragons hitting only 35.3% of their long range tries.
Four Bulldogs finished in double-digit scoring with senior forward Peter Firlik pouring in 16 points on 66.6% shooting from the field with three rebounds. Junior forward Markese Mayfield added 10 points with six rebounds and three assists. Junior forward Zach Hankins had eight points with a team-best seven rebounds on the night as well.
The Dragons were led by the 18 points of Austin Adams and all five TU starters finished with 12 or more points. No one on the Tiffin bench had more than four points.
Ferris State dished out 29 assists and came up with 10 blocked shots, including six from Hankins in the win. The Bulldogs also had six steals and outscored Tiffin 24-15 off turnovers along with 46-42 in the paint.
Overall, the lead changed hands seven times and the score was tied seven times.
The Bulldogs will cap off an eight-game homestand on Saturday (Dec. 2) as they host the Ashland Eagles inside Wink Arena in league action starting at 5 p.m. (ET). The game will be a rematch of last year's GLIAC Tournament Championship game won by the Bulldogs in Big Rapids.