Bulldog Men's Basketball Suffers First Loss As Ashland Wins Battle Of Unbeatens

Bulldog Men's Basketball Suffers First Loss As Ashland Wins Battle Of Unbeatens

Big Rapids, Mich. - The Ferris State University men's basketball team dropped its first game of the 2015-16 campaign as FSU fell to Ashland 57-51 in a battle of unbeaten squads on Saturday (Dec. 5) at the Big Rapids High School gymnasium.

The nationally 13th-ranked Bulldogs were held to 30.5% shooting in the defensive battle, but made a late charge against the Eagles, who improved to 7-0 on the year.

After an even first eight minutes of the game, the Bulldogs surged in front and built a 20-10 lead with 6:05 to play in the first half. However, from there the Eagles answered and kept FSU scoreless the remainder of the period with a 13-0 run to grab a 23-20 edge at the break.

Ferris State tied the game up on the first possession of the second half with a three-pointer from sophomore guard Drew Cushingberry but Ashland responded again and built the lead back up to 11 points at 41-30 with 9:41 left in the game.

FSU climbed back within two points at 43-41 with 3:54 to go before the Eagles scored five-straight points to push their lead to 48-41 with only 2:24 remaining. FSU led by eight with only 39 seconds to play, but the Bulldogs mounted a comeback in the closing minute by hitting a trio of three-pointers in the final 30 seconds.

The Bulldogs trimmed the margin down to 53-51 on a three-point shot from senior forward Josh Fleming with only eight seconds left. However, on the ensuing inbounds play, a controversial intentional foul was called on FSU's Jared Stolicker and the Eagles proceeded to eventually hit four free throws to account for the final margin.

Senior forward James Chappell led the Bulldog lineup with a team-high 10 points as FSU struggled to find the bottom of the net. Fleming added nine points while senior guard Jibreel Jackson and sophomore guard Noah King each totaled eight points apiece.

Ferris State made eight-of-28 (28.6%) three's and hit seven-of-11 (63.6%) free throws as the Eagles held a decided advantage at the line by making 15-of-20 (75%) shots. AU shot 37.5% overall from the floor and was six-of-16 (37.5%) from three-point range.

Senior forward Wendell Davis led Ashland with 22 points and Marsalis Hamilton added 14 points in the victory for the Eagles. Torin Wetzel added nine points off the bench by making three treys and Nick Bapst scored eight points overall.

FSU finished with a 41-36 rebounding edge and the Bulldogs grabbed 17 offensive boards to nine for the Eagles. FSU also dished out 12 assists and posted four steals with three blocked shots compared to eight assists, five steals and no blocks on the AU side. However, FSU also had 16 turnovers and Ashland finished with 15.

Ferris State, which was listed as high as #1 in the nation in the Hero Sports D2 Rankings last week, fell to 7-1 overall and 1-1 in the GLIAC while Ashland improved to 2-0 in conference play.

The Bulldogs will hit the road for two games next weekend as FSU visits Ohio Dominican on Saturday, Dec. 11, for an 8 p.m. (ET) GLIAC encounter. Ferris State then heads to Tiffin on Sunday, Dec. 13, with game time set for 3 p.m. (ET) in Tiffin, Ohio.