Strong Second Half Enables NU To Snap Bulldog Streak

Darien Gay
Ferris' Darien Gay works against Northwood's Aaron Simpson in Saturday's contest (Photo by Sandy Gholston)

The Ferris State University men’s basketball squad couldn’t duplicate its recent impressive play on Saturday (Jan. 24) afternoon as the Bulldogs saw their four-game winning streak snapped by the Northwood Timberwolves, who pulled out a 80-65 Great Lakes Intercollegiate Athletic Conference (GLIAC) triumph at FSU’s Jim Wink Arena in Big Rapids, Mich.

The Bulldogs led by five points early in the game before falling behind by a single point, 32-31, at halftime. However, the Timberwolves shot 60% from the floor in the final half and limited FSU to a 35% figure in outscoring the Bulldogs 48-34 over the final 20 minutes.

NU finished by shooting 53.2% (25-47) for the afternoon and forced 14 Bulldog turnovers in the Community Health Day encounter. FSU had won six of its last seven games entering the contest.

With the loss, the Bulldogs fell to 9-8 overall and dropped into third place in the GLIAC North Division with a 7-5 league record. Northwood improved to 10-7 overall and evened its league mark at 6-6 with the victory.

Three Bulldog players reached double-figure scoring in the setback, which capped a five-game homestand that saw Ferris win four of the five outings. Junior guard Josh Young led the way with a game-high tying 19 points, sophomore guard Matt DeHart netted 13 points and sophomore forward/center Justin Keenan chipped in with 12 points and 12 rebounds in a double-double effort.

Northwood had four players score in double-digits as Aaron Simpson paced the Timberwolves with 19 points, including four three-pointers. Antonio Harrison tallied 17 points and nine assists, Lionel Sullivan finished with 14 points and Marcus Moore contributed 12 points.

In addition to shooting 53% from the floor, Northwood also hit eight-of-17 (47.1%) three-point tries and was 22-of-37 (59.5%) at the free throw line. The Timberwolves had 11 turnovers and were slightly outrebounded 37-35 by the Bulldogs for the game.

FSU shot 39.1% (25-64) for the contest and was five-of-19 (26.3%) beyond the arc along with 10-of-17 (58.8%) at the line. The Bulldogs were also called for 29 personal fouls compared to only 18 for Northwood.

Ferris finished with 14 assists, six steals and two blocked shots while NU managed 18 assists, six steals and two blocks. The Timberwolves’ bench outscored the Bulldog reserves by a 31-21 count in the outing.

FSU did grab 16 offensive boards versus eight for Northwood, which helped Ferris post a 15-7 edge in second chance scoring.

The Bulldogs will begin a four-game league road swing by traveling to Michigan’s Upper Peninsula next week. FSU takes on Northern Michigan to open the trip Thursday (Jan. 29) evening with tipoff set for 7:30 p.m. (EST) in Marquette, Mich. Ferris then faces Michigan Tech Saturday (Jan. 31) in a 3 p.m. (EST) contest at Houghton, Mich.