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Midland, Mich. - The Ferris State University men's basketball squad won for the fifth time in their last six outings as the Bulldogs pulled out a 94-85 Great Lakes Intercollegiate Athletic Conference (GLIAC) road victory over the Northwood Timberwolves on Saturday (Jan. 15) at the Bennett Sports Center.
The Bulldogs grabbed a 46-38 halftime edge after a late opening half run before the Timberwolves battled back in the final stanza. However, FSU used another late run in the ball game to seize control and earn the league road win.
Northwood took a 69-66 advantage on a three-pointer with 6:54 to go, but the Bulldogs came back with an 11-0 run to take an eight-point advantage with four minutes left and never trailed the rest of the way.
Senior forward/center Justin Keenan (Grand Rapids/Ottawa Hills) spearheaded the Bulldogs with a game-high 33 points and 12 rebounds in a double-double effort. He also climbed into third place on the school's all-time scoring list by surpassing former Ferris standout Clarence Carlisle. Keenan totaled 19 points in the second half of the contest, which was his 100th game in a Bulldog uniform.
Keenan was joined in double-digits by senior guard Matt DeHart (Greenville), who recorded his third consecutive double-figure scoring contest with 18 points in the outing on a six-of-nine shooting performance from beyond the three-point arc. Sophomore guard Kenny Brown (Farmington Hills/Harrison) added 12 points.
Senior guard Darien Gay (Detroit/Henry Ford) also had a good all-around contest for FSU and finished only one point shy of a triple-double performance with a career-high 14 rebounds, 10 assists and nine points. Junior guard Dontae Molden (Detroit/Pershing) also scored nine points.
Ferris shot 47.7% (31-65) for the game and made nine-of-19 (47.4%) three-pointers in addition to 23-of-32 (71.9%) free throws. FSU shot 51.4% (19-37) in the opening half of play and then made 21-of-26 (80.8%) tries from the free throw line over the final 20 minutes to help offset only 12 field goals in the final half.
The Bulldogs posted a 47-39 rebounding edge with 12 offensive boards while NU managed 10 offensive rebounds.
Overall, Northwood sank 34-of-76 (44.7%) field goals with 10-of-26 (38.5%) three's and seven-of-12 (58.3%) tries from the charity stripe.
The Timberwolves were led by Andrew VanDierenDonck's team-high 21 points. Both Bobby Lewis and Booker Stoudmire added 15 points apiece.
NU turned the ball over only seven times while FSU had 10 miscues. Both teams netted four steals and three blocked shots apiece. The Timberwolves dished out 18 assists as Cameron Joyce dropped 12 dimes compared to 17 assists for the Bulldogs.
The Timberwolves outscored FSU 15-12 in second chance opportunities and posted a slim 6-4 edge in fast break production. Both teams netted 12 points off turnovers with the Timberwolves recording a 38-32 margin in points scored inside the paint.
With the win, Ferris State improved to 11-5 overall and 7-2 in the GLIAC standings. FSU also moved within a game of GLIAC North Division leader Grand Valley State, which fell on the road to Hillsdale on Saturday.
The Timberwolves dropped to 5-11 overall and 3-5 in the conference by virtue of the setback. The loss was NU's second this campaign versus FSU as the Bulldogs previously recorded a 76-65 league home win in Big Rapids a month ago (12/11).
FSU improved to 51-24 all-time with the win and has now claimed 10 of the last 14 series' meetings against the Timberwolves. Ferris State head coach Bill Sall also improved to 12-7 in his head coaching career versus NU.
Ferris State returns home to host Michigan Tech on Thursday, Jan. 20, in a 6 p.m. (ET) league home tilt at Jim Wink Arena in Big Rapids. FSU then faces Northern Michigan at home on Saturday, Jan. 22, with tipoff set for 1 p.m. (ET).
Bulldog Bites: The game featured 13 lead changes and the score was also tied 13 times ..... FSU compiled four steals and three blocked shots with NU also totaling four thefts and three blocks ...... The Bulldogs had six players see 20 minutes of action or more in the game ...... Twelve of Darien Gay's rebounds came on the defensive end ...... The Northwood bench outscored the Bulldog reserves 26-19 ....... Ferris is now only five wins away from notching the 1,000th victory in program history ....... Justin Keenan reached double-figure scoring for the 95th time in his 100 career contests, including the 72nd in his last 74 games. It marked the third time in his career he's scored 33 points or more in an outing and was only two shy of tying his personal career-high of 35 points ....... Northwood led by as many as seven points in the first half of the game.