Quick Start Leads Ferris Men To Victory

FSU's Justin Keenan attempts one of his 11 free throws in Saturday's game (Photo by Rob Bentley)
FSU's Justin Keenan attempts one of his 11 free throws in Saturday's game (Photo by Rob Bentley)

Ashland, Ohio - A quick start combined with a strong finish led the Ferris State University men's basketball squad to a 80-69 Great Lakes Intercollegiate Athletic Conference (GLIAC) road win over the Ashland Eagles on Saturday (Jan. 16) afternoon at AU's Kates Gymnasium in Ashland, Ohio.

The Bulldogs scored the first 11 points of the contest and rolled to a 41-23 halftime edge against the Eagles.

FSU increased its advantage to as many as 26 points in the second half, but the Eagles trimmed the deficit to only five points (57-52) with 7:15 to play following a big run which also saw FSU junior forward Lou Williams being ejected from the contest with two technical fouls.

However, the Eagles could get no closer as the Bulldogs went on a 9-2 run and made enough plays down the stretch to pul out the win.

Justin Keenan paced FSU with a game-high 26 points.  Senior guard Austin Randel added 20 points and senior guard Jon Yeazel chipped in with 15 points. Sophomore guard Dontae Molden added 11 assists for FSU in the victory.  Yeazel also added six assists, five boards and three steals.

The Eagles were led by Kale Richardson's 15 points. Both Taylor Hobbs and Bylynn Hatcher tallied 13 points apiece for the Eagles in the setback.

FSU shot 52% from the floor for the game and made four-of-13 (31%) three-point tries along with 12-of-19 (63%) free throws.  Meanwhile, the Eagles shot only 36.9% from the floor and were three-of-19 (15.8%) behind the arc.  Ferris also made 12-of-19 (63.2%) free throws with the Eagles connecting on 18-of-27 (66.7%) attempts at the charity stripe.

Ferris was outrebounded 41-39 as the Eagles grabbed 24 offensive rebounds in the outing.  The Bulldogs had 15 turnovers and AU posted 16 miscues.

FSU held a commanding 46-34 edge in points scored inside the paint along with a 14-4 advantage in fast break production and a 28-20 margin in points off turnovers.

Finally, Ferris compiled 23 assists to go with 13 steals and a pair of blocked shots with the Eagles managing only eight assists, six blocks and five steals.

The Bulldogs improved to 8-7 overall and 6-4 in conference play with their second consecutive road victory while AU dropped to 8-7 overall and 4-6 in the GLIAC.  FSU has now beat Ashland seven of the last eight times, including both matchups this campaign.

Ferris State next visits Wayne State on Thursday, Jan. 21, for a 7:30 p.m. (EST) league game in Detroit, Mich.