Ferris junior Austin Randel handles the ball in Thursday's victory at Northwood (Photo/Sandy Gholston)
The Ferris State University men's basketball team secured at least the number five seed for next week's Great Lakes Intercollegiate Athletic Conference (GLIAC) Tournament with an impressive 72-50 league road win over Northwood on Thursday (Feb. 26) evening at the Bennett Sports Center in Midland, Mich.
Despite the absence of the league's leading scorer in sophomore forward/center Justin Keenan, the Bulldogs sprinted out to a 42-31 halftime edge and limited the Timberwolves to only 19 points in the final period.
With the win, Ferris clinches at least the number five seed for the GLIAC Postseason Tournament and could potentially host a quarterfinal-round home game with a win over Wayne State on Saturday combined with a Grand Valley State loss at Northwood. FSU will face either Hillsdale or GVSU in the opening round of the tournament although the site and opponent will not be determined until after Saturday's (Feb. 28) final day of regular-season action.
Without Keenan, the Bulldogs shot 53% (29-55) from the floor and outrebounded NU 40-28 in the contest. FSU shot 55% in the first half and held Northwood to only 36% (19-53) shooting for the game.
Sophomore guard Darien Gay paced FSU with a game-high 19 points and five assists. FSU also received 14 points from both sophomore forward Lou Williams and junior guard Josh Young. Freshman guard Dontae Molden chipped in with nine points, four assists and three steals while senior forward Jason Holder totaled eight points and eight boards in a balanced Bulldog lineup.
FSU forced 16 Northwood turnovers and connected on five-of-15 (33.3%) three-pointers along with nine-of-14 (64.3%) free throws. NU was six-of-12 (50%) beyond the arc and six-of-15 (40%) at the line.
Aaron Simpson was the only NU player to reach double-digit scoring with 11 points. The Timberwolves fell to 13-13 overall and 9-12 in league play with the setback. FSU improved to 14-12 overall and 12-9 in GLIAC action heading into Saturday's (Feb. 28) regular-season finale versus Wayne State in Detroit, Mich. Tipoff is set for 3 p.m. (EST).
The top eight teams at the end of Saturday's action will advance to the GLIAC Tournament with the top four seeds earning first-round home games to be played on Tuesday, March 3. The top remaining seed after the quarterfinals will host the semifinals/finals on Friday and Saturday, March 6-7.