Ferris State University's Austin Randel tries to make a pass in FSU's game versus Grand Valley State (Photo/Sandy Gholston)
The Ferris State University men’s basketball team opened a new semester with a bang Monday (Jan. 12) night as the Bulldogs knocked off nationally 15th-ranked archrival Grand Valley State by a 74-67 count before a crowd of 1,067 fans inside FSU’s Jim Wink Arena at Big Rapids, Mich.
The Bulldogs rallied from a 16-point second half deficit to snap an eight-game series’ losing streak to the Lakers. The win was FSU’s first over Grand Valley State since a 79-63 home triumph on Dec. 8, 2005.
FSU trailed 44-28 with 16:52 to go in the game, but slowly chipped away at GVSU’s lead. The Bulldogs took the lead for the first time in the game with 7:13 to play and led for much of the final six minutes of the outing. The Lakers cut a three-point Bulldog advantage down to only one point with 1:48 left, but the Bulldogs sank six free throws in the final 54 seconds to account for the final margin.
The Lakers had trouble containing FSU sophomore forward/center Justin Keenan, who totaled 19 of his game-high 27 points in the second half when the Bulldogs outscored GVSU 46-30 after falling behind 37-28 at halftime. Keenan added 12 rebounds in a double-double effort and was 13-of-18 at the free throw stripe.
The Bulldogs also received 18 points and seven assists from sophomore guard Darien Gay in the rivalry win. Senior forward Jason Holder added eight points, including a tip-in with 1:13 left to give FSU a three-point lead.
Ferris shot 41.8% (23-55) from the field and was 24-of-36 (66.7%) at the free throw line. The Bulldogs made 45% of their field goal tries in the final half after being limited to only a 38.5% first-half showing. FSU was four-of-18 (22.2%) beyond the three-point arc.
Four Laker players reached double-figure scoring as both Justin Ringler and Toreau Brown netted a team-high tying 15 points. Pete Trammell chipped in with 12 points and Alvin Storrs tallied 11 points for the Lakers, who were 24-of-56 (42.9%) from the floor and four-of-16 ((25%) beyond the three-point line. GVSU made 15-of-22 (68.2%) free throws.
The Bulldogs owned a 42-32 rebounding edge and Ferris came up with 17 offensive boards compared to only 12 for the Lakers. FSU maintained a 21-6 edge in second chance scoring.
Ferris finished with 16 assists, eight steals and four blocked shots in improving to 6-7 overall and 4-4 in GLIAC action this season. The Lakers fell to 9-4 overall and 4-4 in league play.
The contest opened a five-game league homestand for the Bulldogs, who will next host Tiffin on Thursday, Jan. 15, for a 8 p.m. (EST) conference home game at Wink Arena. FSU then faces Ashland on Saturday, Jan. 17, with the GLIAC home tipoff set for 2 p.m. (EST).
Monday’s crowd represented the fifth-straight year the Bulldogs have drawn more than 1,000 fans for their home game against the Lakers inside Wink Arena. More than 700 students were included in the attendance figure for the game, which took place the same day in which second semester classes began on the Big Rapids campus.