Strong First Half Leads GVSU Past FSU Men

FSU freshman Daniel Sutherlin defends the ball in Monday's game (Photo by Sandy Gholston)
FSU freshman Daniel Sutherlin defends the ball in Monday's game (Photo by Sandy Gholston)

Allendale, Mich. - A strong first half proved to be the difference as Grand Valley State beat Ferris State 80-68 on Monday (Jan. 11) in Great Lakes Intercollegiate Athletic Conference (GLIAC) men's basketball play at the GVSU Fieldhouse Arena in Allendale, Mich.

GVSU took a 41-23 halftime lead behind a 51.6% (16-31) shooting figure in the initial frame.  The Lakers also forced eight Bulldog turnovers in the initial period.

FSU trimmed the lead to only eight points (47-39) with 14:35 remaining in the game, but could get no closer as the Lakers were able to pull out the victory and avenge a decisive 67-41 setback in the conference opener earlier this year (Nov. 30) between the two West Michigan rivals in Big Rapids.

The Lakers held a commanding 33-21 edge on the boards with 10 coming on the offensive glass.  GVSU also shot 50% (25-50) from the floor overall and connected on seven-of-19 (38.9%) three-pointers with a 23-of-28 (82.1%) showing at the free throw line.

Reed City native Justin Ringler led the Lakers with 18 points and nine rebounds in the contest.  He was joined in double-digits by Toreau Brown with 16 points and K'Len Morris, who had 13 points. Brown did most of his damage early in the game when GVSU was able to open up a 20-point first half lead only 16 minutes into the game.

The Bulldogs were led offensively by junior forward/center Justin Keenan, who finished with a team-high 23 points.  Senior guard Jon Yeazel also added 21 points, but those were the only two FSU players with more than six points in the contest.

FSU shot 46.9% (23-49) for the game and was 17-of-19 (89.5%) at the line while making five-of-13 (38.5%) three-pointers.

Ferris State totaled eight assists, seven steals and three blocked shots compared to GVSU's 12 assists, six thefts and one block.

The 41 points scored by GVSU in the first half were as many as the Lakers tallied in the game at Big Rapids in the initial meeting earlier this year.

With the win, GVSU improved to 10-3 overall and 6-2 in GLIAC play with the Lakers now tied atop the division with Lake Superior State.  FSU fell to 6-7 overall and 4-4 in conference action.

FSU continues its five-game GLIAC road swing by visiting Tiffin on Thursday (Jan. 14) for a 8 p.m. (EST) league tilt in Tiffin, Ohio.  The Bulldogs then play at Ashland on Saturday (Jan. 16) with tipoff set for 3 p.m. (EST) at Ashland, Ohio.

Bulldog Bites: The Lakers held FSU's second-leading scorer in Bulldog junior guard Darien Gay to only five points in 36 minutes of play ....... Ferris missed all four of its three-point field goal attempts in the opening stanza ....... The win was the sixth-straight of the year for GVSU ....... The Lakers trimmed FSU's all-time series' lead to 48-46 with the win in the 94th all-time encounter ......... GVSU's bench outscored the Bulldog reserves by a 36-25 count after FSU had previously posted a 23-11 advantage in bench points during the first meeting ........ Grand Valley State led from start to finish in the game.