Ferris State Men's Basketball Opens GLIAC Play With Win To Improve To 7-0

Ferris State Men's Basketball Opens GLIAC Play With Win To Improve To 7-0

Big Rapids, Mich. - The Ferris State University men's basketball squad opened Great Lakes Intercollegiate Athletic Conference (GLIAC) play with a win and stayed unbeaten on the year as the Bulldogs posted a 77-68 triumph over Lake Erie on Thursday (Dec. 3) night in league action.

Ferris State won its league opener by building a 20-point lead at the Big Rapids High School gymnasium and then held off a surging Storm squad down the stretch for the nine-point victory.

The Bulldogs jumped out to a 44-30 halftime edge and led 52-32 with 15:40 to play before Lake Erie climbed back to within single digits. The Storm got the FSU advantage down to seven points with 37 seconds to play, but the Bulldogs sank four free throws in a 20-second span and senior center Jared Stolicker put an exclamation point on the victory with a thunderous jam shortly before time expired to account for the final margin.

Stolicker continued his stellar play to open his senior campaign by scoring a game-high 23 points and pulling down 13 rebounds in 25 minutes of work. He hit 8-of-12 field goals and made 7-of-11 free throws in the triumph.

When Stolicker was out of the lineup, though, his replacement in redshirt freshman center Zach Hankins proved to be highly-effective as well, especially in the first half. He tallied 13 points in the opening frame in eight minutes of work and finished the night with 14 points, six blocked shots and three boards in 13 minutes.

Along with the two big men, FSU received 10 points from senior forward James Chappell, who added six boards, three assists and two blocks. Fellow senior forward Josh Fleming recorded eight points, a squad-high seven assists, six boards and four blocked shots while senior guard Jibreel Jackson hit for eight points and dished out three dimes.

The Bulldogs also received six points apiece from both sophomore wing Noah King and sophomore Peter Firlik off the bench.

Ferris State shot 45.6% for the night and made six-of-22 (27.3%) field goals to go with 19-of-31 (61.3%) free throws. FSU also owned a 48-39 edge on the glass with 12 offensive boards.

Lake Erie was led by Trey Howard, who netted 15 points in the loss. Teammate Sean Hoaward added 11 points while Nick Wells, Michael Morris and Collin Barth all totaled nine points each.

The Storm were limited to only 35.7% shooting and were six-of-27 (22.2%) from downtown and 12-of-16 (75%) at the line. They did force 14 Bulldog turnovers, leading to a 15-7 edge in points off turnovers, but never led in the game.

Ferris State registered an impressive 13 blocked shots for the game and produced 21 assists on 26 baskets with good ball distribution. FSU also had five steals and received 26 points off the bench.

The Bulldogs improved to 7-0 overall this year with the win. FSU is presently ranked 13th nationally in the National Association of Basketball Coaches (NABC) Division II National Rankings while also being listed as high as #1 in the nation in the Hero Sports D2 Rankings.

Ferris State will square off against the Ashland Eagles on Saturday (Dec. 5) in a showdown of unbeaten teams at Big Rapids High School. The game tips off at 5 p.m. (ET). AU comes in with a perfect 6-0 mark after an overtime victory over Grand Valley State on the opening night of league play.