Bulldog Men's Basketball Battles To The Wire For Second Day In A Row On The Road

Bulldog Men's Basketball Battles To The Wire For Second Day In A Row On The Road

Big Rapids, Mich. - For the second-straight day, the Ferris State University men's basketball squad battled a tough and formidable regional opponent to the wire but the Bulldogs fell just short on Sunday (Nov. 16) in a 71-70 setback against Missouri-St. Louis at Quincy, Ill.

The Bulldogs and the Tritons battled thru a tight game that saw neither team lead by more than four points in a contest that also featured numerous lead changes and tie scores.

However, Missouri-St. Louis' Neil Branham scored the pivotal game-winner with only seven seconds remaining to lift the Tritons to the win at the GLIAC/GLVC Challenge hosted by Quincy University at Pepsi Arena.

The Bulldogs had hit a free throw to take a 70-69 lead with 23 seconds to go before Branham found the bottom of the net for the game-winning bucket.

Overall, the contest featured 19 lead changes and was tied 19 times. It came on the heels of a thrilling 108-106 triple-overtime setback for the Bulldogs on Saturday (Nov. 15) to open the event against the host Quincy Hawks.

Both Quincy and Missouri-St. Louis are longtime members of the Great Lakes Valley Conference (GLVC) with member schools also located in the Midwest Region along with those insitutions from the GLIAC for NCAA postseason consideration.

The Tritons improved to 2-0 overall this season with the win, which came only a day after beating Grand Valley State 58-53 in the regional event.

Senior guard Drew Lehman continued his impressive offensive display by scoring 18 points to lead the Bulldogs. FSU also received 15 points from junior forward James Chappell with junior wing Josh Fleming adding 15 points and senior guard Dietrich Lever totaling 10 overall.

The Bulldogs shot 45.9% from the floor and hit on five-of-16 (31.3%) three's along with nine-of-12 (75%) free throws. Ferris State led by one at halftime, 35-34, against the Tritons in the back and forth contest.

In the opening half, the Bulldogs converted 53.4% of their field goals, but were limited to only 39% shooting in the final 20 minutes of action.

Meanwhile, UMSL shot 47.5% overall and was three-of-10 (30%) from three-point range along with 12-of-16 (75%) at the line. The Tritons shot 55% in the second half.

Aareon Smith led Missouri-St. Louis with a game-high 19 points while Kevin Swanson added 12 points and Derek Williams scored 11 points.

FSU owned a slim 37-33 rebounding edge, which included 10 boards from junior center Jared Stolicker. Fleming added six rebounds for Ferris State.

Both teams took better care of the ball in their second contest as FSU finished with only 10 turnovers and the Tritons had nine in the first-ever series' meeting betweeh the two schools.

Overall, Ferris State also came up with 10 assists, five steals and four blocked shots with UMSL netting 10 assists, six steals and four swats.

Lever dished out four assists for the Bulldogs and Stolicker had three in addition to two steals. Lehman also netted a pair of thefts.

In addition to the score and majority of the statistics, most of the specialty stats in the outing were also nearly equal. Both teams had 40 points inside the paint while FSU held a 8-6 edge in fast break production and a 13-12 margin in points off turnovers. UMSL led in second chance scoring by a 11-7 count.

Ferris State continues its season-opening three game road swing as the Bulldogs square off against another GLVC opponent on Wednesday (Nov. 19) against St. Joseph's (Ind.) in Rensselaer, Ind. Tipoff is set for 8:30 p.m. (ET).

FSU then returns home to host Lewis (Ill.) of the GLVC on Saturday (Nov. 22) in the home opener starting at 3 p.m. (ET) inside FSU's Jim Wink Arena.