Late Shot Gives Walsh Narrow Victory Over Ferris State In Men's Basketball

Late Shot Gives Walsh Narrow Victory Over Ferris State In Men's Basketball

Big Rapids, Mich. - An outstanding individual performance helped snap a three-game winning streak for the Ferris State University men's basketball squad on Saturday (Jan. 9) as the Bulldogs lost a heartbreaker to the Walsh Cavaliers 81-78 at Alumni Arena in North Canton, Ohio.

Walsh's Jesse Hardin Jr. tallied a personal career-high and game-best 45 points in the Cavaliers' win while hitting a game-winning three-pointer with two seconds left to play. He finished shooting 15-of-19 from the floor along with eight-of-10 beyond the three-point stripe and seven-of-nine at the line in the Great Lakes Intercollegiate Athletic Conference (GLIAC) encounter.

Ferris State led much of the way as FSU held the advantage for 25 minutes into the contest, including 16 minutes in the opening half while building a 42-39 lead at the break. The Bulldogs then increased the advantage to as many as nine points with 14 minutes to play before the Cavaliers battled back with a big run to grab the lead.

The contest was back and forth for most of the final 10 minutes before Hardin connected on a big three-pointer from the corner as the shot clock was winding down with 1:43 to go. That shot gave the Cavaliers a nine-point lead and they appeared to have the game in hand.

However, strong defensive pressure in the backcourt led to several key turnovers and the Bulldogs fought back. They eventually tied the game up on a short jumper in the paint by senior forward Josh Fleming with less than 30 seconds to play and Walsh played for the final shot.

On the final possession, Hardin held the ball near midcourt and led the clock run inside of 10 seconds. He eventually took a couple of dribbles and pulled up to hit a deep three several feet beyond the arc with only seconds to go. It proved to be the game-winner as FSU inbounded to halfcourt, but could not get a shot off as time expired.

Hardin's performance helped Walsh shoot 47.4% from the floor and 50% (9-18) from three-point range. The Cavaliers also made 18-of-26 (69.2%) free throws.

Along with Hardin, Trey Fletcher scored 14 points and Zac Carter tallied 11 points for Walsh, which improved to 6-6 overall and 4-4 in the GLIAC.

Ferris State also had three players reach double-figure scoring with senior center Jared Stolicker totaling 18 points and 11 rebounds in a double-double showing. Senior forward James Chappell had a big first-half for FSU and finished with 17 points while Fleming came on late to record 15 points in the setback.

Overall, the Bulldogs shot 43% from the field and made nine-of-27 (33.3%) three's to go with seven-of-14 (50%) free throws.

The Bulldogs forced 16 Walsh turnovers and had only nine of their own while outscoring the Cavaliers 15-11 in points off miscues. FSU also pulled down 12 offensive boards to eight for the hosts while owning a 18-5 edge in second chance production. However, Walsh outrebounded FSU 42-36 for the game.

On the day, Ferris State posted 15 assists along with seven steals and six blocked shots. Walsh netted 10 assists, six steals and two blocks as FSU fell to 11-3 overall and 5-3 in league play.

The game featured 13 lead changes and was tied six times in what was a rematch of last year's GLIAC Tournament Semifinal game. FSU fell to 3-2 all-time against the Cavaliers with the setback.

Ferris State returns home to host Michigan Tech at Jim Wink Arena on Thursday, Jan. 14, starting at 8 p.m. (ET). FSU then hosts Northern Michigan on Saturday, Jan. 16, starting at 3 p.m. (ET).