Ferris State Men's Basketball Beats #17 Lewis In Home Opener

Ferris State Men's Basketball Beats #17 Lewis In Home Opener

Big Rapids, Mich. - The Ferris State University men's basketball squad used the home court to its advantage on Saturday (Nov. 22) as the Bulldogs beat nationally 17th-ranked Lewis (Ill.) 70-67 in their 2014-15 home opener at Jim Wink Arena.

In a game that featured 22 lead changes and was tied 13 times, the Bulldogs used some timely shooting down the stretch to pull out their first victory of the year after three close games decided by three points or less against strong Great Lakes Valley Conference (GLVC) opponents.

The Flyers, who had beat three Great Lakes Intercollegiate Athletic Conference (GLIAC) schools already this year to come in with an unblemished record, led 32-31 at halfime, but FSU outscored the visitors 39-35 in the final half to earn the triumph.

Lewis held a three-point lead with 4:34 to go before Ferris State senior guard Drew Lehman hit three consecutive triples in just over a minute of action to give FSU a two-point lead with 3:27 left in the contest.

The Flyers tied the game back up before a layup from junior center Jared Stolicker put FSU back in front with slightly more than two minutes to go. A free throw from junior forward James Chappell pushed the Bulldog lead to three before the Flyers cut the margin back to a single point with 1:26 to play.

However, Ferris State moved quickly and Stolicker jammed home a dunk to push the margin back to three with only 22 seconds to go. After two freem throws by Lewis' Jeff Jarosz, Lehman hit one of two free throws for FSU and the Bulldogs rebounded an errant miss. Chappell then hit a free throw and the Flyers were unable to connect on a deep three-point shot as time expired.

Ferris State was led by Lehman and Chappell as both tallied 17 points apiece. Lehman hit six-of-11 shots from the floor and made four three's in the victory while Chappell shot five-of-nine from the field and hit seven free throws.

Stolicker also reached double-digits for FSU with 12 points while both junior guard Jibreel Jackson and junior forward Josh Fleming netted 10 points each in the win.

Ferris State shot 49% from the field and connected on seven-of-15 (46.7%) three's along with 15-of-25 (60%) free throws. The Bulldogs hit on 57.1% of their field goals over the final 20 minutes of play.

Lewis was led by talented guard Ryan Jackson, who had a game-high 18 points in the setback. He was joined in double-figures by David Niggins with 11 points and 10 rebounds in a double-double showing.

The Flyers finished with a 51.9% shooting figure, but were only four-of-15 (26.7%) from downtown and nine-of-19 (47.4%) at the charity stripe.

Ferris State was outrebounded 37-22 for the game as the Flyers grabbed 12 offensive caroms to only four for the Bulldogs. However, FSU forced 17 turnovers and had only 12 of its own in the win as the Bulldogs came up with 12 steals to seven for the Flyers.

The Bulldogs used the turnovers to their advantage as they outscored Lewis 15-11 in points off miscues. LU owned a 12-1 edge in second chance scoring along with a 38-24 margin inside the paint.

FSU also had success distributing the ball with 20 assists to only nine for the visitors. Senior guard Dietrich Lever led the way with five helpers while Fleming had four and the trio of Chappell, Stolicker and Lehman totaled three each.

Ferris State will continue its three-game non-league homestand by hosting Grace Bible on Tuesday (Nov. 25) at 7 p.m. (ET) inside Wink Arena. The Bulldogs then play host to Albion on Saturday (Nov. 29) in another 7 p.m. (ET) game.