Ferris State's Justin Keenan had a career-high 33 points in Tuesday's home win over Olivet (Photo by Zeke Jennings/Big Rapids Pioneer)
A career night from sophomore forward/center Justin Keenan helped the Ferris State University men’s basketball team register its first regular-season victory of the 2008-09 campaign Tuesday (Nov. 25) evening as the Bulldogs posted a 87-76 triumph over Olivet inside FSU’s Jim Wink Arena at Big Rapids, Mich.
The 6-6 Keenan, who earlier in the day was chosen as this week’s Great Lakes Intercollegiate Athletic Conference (GLIAC) North Division Player of the Week for his efforts in Ferris’ home loss to St. Joseph’s (Ind.) last Thursday, had another stellar outing with a personal career-high and game-best 33 points in the winning cause. Keenan was 13-of-17 from the floor and added seven of 10 free throws to go with five rebounds, three assists and two steals in 31 minutes of action.
Keenan had 16 points in the opening stanza as the Bulldogs jumped out to a 46-33 halftime edge in the “Fan Appreciation” night game. Ferris increased its advantage to 25 points with 13:48 to play, but the Comets would not go away as they cut the lead down to as few as nine points twice in the final eight minutes of the game. The second time came with 2:58 to play, which was answered by four straight-points from the Bulldogs to put the game away.
Ferris shot 57.1% (36-63) from the floor in the game while limiting Olivet to a 38.2% (21-55) figure. The Bulldogs were three-of-seven (42.9%) behind the three-point line and 12-of-20 (60.0%) at the free throw stripe while the Comets converted five-of-15 (33.3%) long range tries and 29-of-34 (85.3%) attempts from the charity stripe.
In addition to Keenan’s game-high effort, the Bulldogs also received 15 points from junior guard Josh Young and 13 points by sophomore forward Lou Williams. Young added a team-high seven rebounds while sophomore guard Darien Gay and freshman guard Dontae Molden both dished out five assists.
The Comets were paced by Andre Evans, who finished with 26 points, including a 13-of-14 showing at the free throw line. The Bulldogs were whistled for 27 fouls in the game and Olivet totaled 19 fouls.
Ferris also moved the ball well offensively as the Bulldogs tallied 28 assists on the night to go with 11 steals on the defensive end. Ferris’ held a commanding 32-8 edge in fast break points and a 50-16 margin in points scored inside the paint. Additionally, the Bulldog bench outscored Olivet’s reserves by a 24-11 count.
The win was Ferris’ fifth consecutive triumph over the Comets, who dropped to 2-2 overall this campaign.
Ferris State improved to 1-2 overall heading into its GLIAC opener, which will be Monday, Dec. 1, at rival Grand Valley State. Tipoff is set for 8 p.m. (EST) following the women’s game inside the GVSU Fieldhouse Arena in Allendale, Mich.