Ferris' Jason Holder (34) and Justin Keenan (40) battle for the ball in the Bulldogs' exhibition win over Cornerstone (Photo Courtesy Sandy Gholston)
The Ferris State University men's basketball team used a double-double effort from sophomore forward/center Justin Keenan and a key defensive stop on the final possession of the game to post a 74-73 exhibition win over West Michigan opponent Cornerstone Thursday (Oct. 30) evening inside FSU's Jim Wink Arena at Big Rapids, Mich.
Keenan, who was named to the Preseason All-Great Lakes Intercollegiate Athletic Conference (GLIAC) North Division squad Thursday morning, tallied a game-high 28 points and 10 rebounds while adding four steals and two blocked shots to spark the Bulldog victory.
The Bulldogs took a 74-69 lead with 2:21 remaining on three consecutive baskets from the 6-6 Keenan before the Golden Eagles answered with two-straight buckets to trim the lead to one with 44 seconds remaining. Keenan missed a jumper with six seconds to go, but freshman point guard Dontae Molden stripped CU's Dominic Allen of the ball with only two seconds left to preserve the victory.
Ferris shot 46% (29-63) from the floor in the game, but was hampered by 32 personal fouls which led to Cornerstone's 21-of-33 (63.6%) performance from the charity stripe. The Golden Eagles also made 25-of-44 (56.8%) field goals, including an 11-of-18 (61.1%) showing in the final half.
Junior transfer guard Josh Young added 13 points in the Bulldog win while the combination of Molden and sophomore guards Darien Gay along with Bryan Pasciak combined for 15 of FSU's 21 assists. Molden netted six assists, Gay had five and Pasciak finished with four to go with his eight points on the offensive end.
Three Cornerstone players reached double-figure scoring as Matt Kingshott led the way with 21 points and seven rebounds. Caleb Simons chipped in 17 points and Kelvin DeVries netted 16 points in the losing effort. CU held a slim 33-30 rebounding edge although the Bulldogs did grab 15 offensive boards and owned a 18-10 edge in second chance points.
The Bulldogs took a narrow 36-34 halftime edge on a basket by Molden near the end of the opening period and led by as many as eight points with 10:22 remaining in the contest. Thirteen different FSU players saw action in the game, but seven finished with three fouls or more as Ferris was whistled for 20 fouls in the final 20 minutes of play.
Ferris sank 12-of-17 (70.6%) free throws and was four-of-17 (23.5%) from three-point range. Meanwhile, the Golden Eagles finished only two-of-12 (16.7%) from the new collegiate men's basketball three-point distance.
The Bulldogs totaled 11 steals and five blocked shots in the game with Cornerstone managing five thefts and two blocks in addition to 16 assists. CU also turned the ball over 26 times while Ferris had 19 miscues.
The game featured eight lead changes and the score was tied six times. Ferris was aided by the play of its bench, which held a 28-6 edge in scoring over the CU reserves.
The Bulldogs return to the floor with another exhibition game against Calvin Tuesday, Nov. 11, at Jim Wink Arena. Tipoff is set for 8 p.m. (EST) following the Bulldog women's exhibition tilt versus Hope starting at 6 p.m. (EST).
FSU's first official men's contest will be Saturday, Nov. 15, when the Bulldogs travel to Great Lakes Regional opponent Northern Kentucky for a 1 p.m. (EST) afternoon clash. The game will be the first official regular-season contest in NKU's new 10,000-seat state of the art Bank of Kentucky Center at Highland Heights, Ky. The Norse are ranked fourth nationally in the Division II Bulletin Preseason Poll along with sixth in the National Association of Basketball Coaches (NABC) Division II Preseason Coaches Poll.