FSU Posts Decisive Conference Home Win Over Dragons

Josh Young
Ferris State University's Josh Young pressures Tiffin's Alex Strok in Thursday's outing at Wink Arena (Photo/Sandy Gholston)

The Ferris State University men's basketball squad put together one of its most dominating performances of the season in a 98-63 Great Lakes Intercollegiate Athletic Conference (GLIAC) romp over visiting Tiffin on Thursday (Jan. 15) evening inside FSU's Jim Wink Arena at Big Rapids, Mich.

The host Bulldogs scored the game's first seven points and never looked back in winning for the fourth time in the last five contests. FSU opened up a 54-28 halftime edge and outscored the Dragons 44-35 in the final half as the score never got closer than 23 points in the final 20 minutes of the outing.

The Bulldogs shot 52.9% (37-70) from the floor, including a nine-of-14 (64.3%) effort behind the three-point line. FSU was also 15-of-21 (71.4%) at the charity stripe.

Junior forward Verdell Billingsley tallied a season-high 26 points on an 11-of-13 showing from the floor and grabbed six boards to pace the Bulldogs. Junior guard Austin Randel also had his best offensive performance to date with 19 points for Ferris State.

In addition to Billingsley and Randel, two other Bulldog players also reached double-figure scoring as sophomore guard Darien Gay netted 14 points and sophomore forward/center Justin Keenan tallied 11 points. Keenan pulled down seven boards, including six offensive caroms, in only 18 minutes of playing time.

The Bulldogs distributed the ball well as evidenced by their 28 assists. Freshman guard Dontae Molden led the way with a game-high 11 assists and Gay added eight helpers in the win.

Defensively, the Bulldogs forced 16 turnovers and limited the Dragons to 41.8% (23-55) shooting. TU was eight-of-19 (42.1%) beyond the arc and nine-of-16 (56.3%) at the free throw stripe.

Tiffin had two players reach double-digit scoring with Alex Strok totaling a team-best 14 points and Donnell Patterson contributing 12 points. The Dragons were outrebounded 42-28 by FSU as the Bulldogs hauled in 19 offensive rebounds and posted a 28-15 edge in second chance scoring.

Ferris never trailed in the game and all 10 Bulldog players who saw action scored in the contest. FSU maintained a 58-29 advantage in bench production as well as a commanding 40-16 margin in points scored inside the paint.

FSU also came up with 11 steals and two blocked shots while the Dragons managed seven steals and six swats to go with 16 assists.

Ferris State improved to 7-7 overall and 5-4 in the GLIAC. Meanwhile, the Dragons dropped to 1-13 overall and remain winless (0-9) in their first season of league competition.

The Bulldogs continue their five-game homestand by hosting Ashland on Saturday (Jan. 17) with tipoff set for 2 p.m. (EST). Saturday's game will be part of a FSU Athletics tripleheader as the Bulldog women square off against the Eagles at 12 p.m. (EST) and the Ferris hockey team hosts Ohio State following the men's game at 5:05 p.m. (EST).