Ferris State University's Dontae Molden helped the Bulldogs to a win in Marquette (Photo/Matt Yeoman)
The Ferris State University men's basketball team began a four-game Great Lakes Intercollegiate Athletic Conference (GLIAC) road swing Thursday (Jan. 29) evening with a 87-81 win against Northern Michigan in NMU's Berry Events Center at Marquette, Mich.
The Bulldogs led for most of the first half and bolted to a 10-point halftime edge by shooting 53.3% (16-30) in the opening frame, including a seven-of-11 (63.6%) effort behind the three-point arc in the first stanza to overcome a 20-point initial half from NMU's Tyler Kazmierkoski. FSU sophomore forward/center Justin Keenan finished with nine points and six rebounds in the initial frame.
In the second frame, the Bulldogs stretched their lead to 11 points and led throughout. The Wildcats were able to trim the deficit to as few as two points with 2:58 remaining, but could get no closer as the Bulldogs outscored NMU 10-6 the rest of the way in securing the victory.
Five Bulldog players reached double-figure scoring in the win. Keenan paced the Bulldogs with 23 points and 10 rebounds in a double-double effort. Junior guard Josh Young added 13 points, sophomore guard Matt DeHart netted 13 points, junior guard Austin Randel chipped in with 11 points and senior forward Jason Holder tallied 10 points.
Kazmierkoski was limited to five points in the final half and finished with 25 for the contest in leading NMU. Raymont McElroy totaled 18 points while both Chris Warner and Austin Rowe finished with 10 points.
The Bulldogs held a slim 31-29 rebounding edge and recorded 12 assists, nine steals and a single blocked shot. Meanwhile, the Wildcats had 10 assists, six thefts and three blocks for the game.
Ferris finished shooting 47.2% (25-53) from the floor and was eight-of-13 (61.5%) behind the three-point line. The Bulldogs were 29-of-38 (76.3%) at the free throw stripe.
NMU, which dropped to 9-9 overall and 4-9 in the GLIAC with the setback, shot 54.2% (26-48) for the game, but also had 17 turnovers compared to only 12 for the Bulldogs. The Wildcats sank eight-of-21 (38.1%) three-point tries and 21-of-29 (72.4%) free throws.
Ferris State improved to 10-8 overall and 8-5 in GLIAC action with the win, was was the Bulldogs' seventh victory in their last nine outings. It also gave the Bulldogs their seventh-straight season with 10 or more victories under seventh-year head coach Bill Sall after the program had achieved the feat only twice in the seven years prior to his arrival in 2002.
The Bulldogs will conclude their two-game trip to Michigan's Upper Peninsula by visiting Michigan Tech on Saturday (Jan. 31) for a 3 p.m. (EST) league tilt at Houghton, Mich.