Postgame Press Conference
(Coach Bill Sall, Dontae Molden, Kenny Brown)
Big Rapids, Mich. - The Ferris State University men's basketball squad picked up right where it left off in its most recent game as a quick start fueled the Bulldogs to a commanding 87-66 Great Lakes Intercollegiate Athletic Conference (GLIAC) win over Ashland on Saturday (Feb. 11) afternoon at FSU's Jim Wink Arena.
The Bulldogs wrapped up a five-game homestand unbeaten and improved to 15-7 overall and 12-3 in league play with the win, which came on the heels of a 82-57 triumph over Lake Erie on Thursday (Feb. 9) night in Big Rapids.
FSU jumped out to a 48-27 halftime advantage and rolled to the win over AU, which fell to 13-10 overall and 8-8 in league play.
The win also enabled the Bulldogs to hold onto a two-game lead over Michigan Tech and Northwood atop the GLIAC North Division standings with only four regular-season contests remaining.
FSU's "Big Four" of seniors Dontae Molden and Jerrell Sanders along with juniors Kenny Brown and Daniel Sutherlin all reached double-figure scoring in the decisive win. Brown scored 24 points while Molden added 20 from the perimeter with Sutherlin netting 16 and Sanders chipping in 14 on the inside.
Their performances offset a game-high 27 points and 12 rebounds from talented Ashland forward Evan Yates, who was the lone Eagle player to reach double-digits.
The Bulldogs shot 50.7% (34-67) from the field and sank 11-of-26 (42.3%) three's with Molden connecting on six three-pointers and Brown sinking four. FSU also made eight-of-10 (80%) free throws for the game.
On the opposing side, the Eagles were limited to 41.8% (23-55) shooting, which included only 33.3% in the opening half of action. They were only five-of-22 (22.7%) beyond the three-point arc and 15-of-19 (78.9%) at the free throw line with Yates sinking all 13 of his tries at the charity stripe.
Ferris State turned the ball over only one time in the opening half and finished with seven for the game, which helped FSU hold a 15-2 margin in points off turnovers as the Eagles finished with 14 for the day.
FSU slightly outrebounded Ashland 33-32, but did give up 18 second chance points on 11 AU offensive boards. FSU had 13 second chance points on 12 offensive rebounds. Both Sutherlin and Sanders tallied seven rebounds apiece to pace FSU on the glass.
Ferris State distributed the ball well as the Bulldogs came up with 16 assists, including a game-high six from freshman guard Drew Lehman (Toledo/Central Catholic). Freshman guard Dietrich Lever (Detroit/Canton) added four assists to go with six points and four rebounds. Brown also had three assists and two steals.
The Bulldogs finished with four steals and three blocked shots in comparison to Ashland's six steals and a single block. The Eagles had eight assists.
While the Eagles outscored FSU 28-26 in the paint and 19-13 off the bench, the contest featured only two lead changes as Ashland never led after the opening five minutes of the game.
Ferris State will play three of its final four games on the road starting next week. FSU visits Wayne State on Thursday, Feb. 16, with tipoff set for 7:30 p.m. (ET) in Detroit. The Bulldogs then travel to Findlay next Saturday, Feb. 18, for a 3 p.m. (ET) league tilt at UF's Croy Gymnasium in Findlay, Ohio.