Big Second Half Leads GVSU Past Ferris State In Men's Basketball Showdown

Big Second Half Leads GVSU Past Ferris State In Men's Basketball Showdown

Allendale, Mich. - It was a tale of two halves as the Ferris State University men's basketball squad jumped in front early before rival Grand Valley State bounced back in the second half for a 78-69 triumph over the Bulldogs in Great Lakes Intercollegiate Athletic Conference (GLIAC) play on Thursday (Feb. 25) night in Allendale.

The Bulldogs led by as many as nine points midway thru the first half and owned a six-point halftim lead, but the Lakers bolted in front early in the second period and never looked back in posting the victory in the regular-season finale for both squads.

With the setback, Ferris State will now be the #6 for the upcoming GLIAC Tournament and visit Findlay for a tourney quarterfinal-round game on Tuesday (March 1). Tipoff is set for 7 p.m. (ET) inside UF's Croy Gymnasium in Findlay, Ohio.

Grand Valley State, which needed a win to keep its postseason hopes alive, claimed the final spot for the league tournament by earning the season split against FSU, which had topped the Lakers 74-71 at Jim Wink Arena in Big Rapids on Feb. 1.

In Thursday's matchup, though, the Lakers outscored Ferris State 57-42 in the second half and knocked down their first 11 shots of the second frame to turn the momentum in their favor on the home floor. GVSU shot 59% from the floor in the final half and hit five-of-eight (63%) three's over the final 20 minutes en route to the win.

Both senior guard Aaron Hayes and junior Luke Ryskamp tallied a game-high 21 points apiece for the Lakers, who also received 12 points from senior center Chaz Rollins.

On the Ferris State side, the Bulldogs were paced by redshirt freshman center Zach Hankins with a team-high 10 points and eight rebounds. He was the only Bulldog player to reach double-figure scoring although six others had either eight or nine points each in the losing effort.

Overall, the Lakers shot 46% from the field and heated up after going only eight-of-25 (32%) in the first half. They finished seven-of-12 (58%) from three-point range and converted 21-of-32 (66%) free throws.

Meanwhile, the Bulldogs shot 41.2% overall, but were seven-of-28 (25%) from long distance and hit six-of-11 (55%) free throws.

The Lakers outrebounbed FSU 41-34 for the night with Ferris State holding a 18-8 margin in second chance production with 16 offensive caroms to only 15 for GVSU. The Bulldogs also turned the ball over only 11 times compared to the Lakers' 13 with GVSU owning a slim 15-12 margin in points off turnovers.

The Bulldogs finished the night with 15 assists, 12 steals and four blocked shots in comparison to Grand Valley State's 11 assists, four steals and two blocks. FSU also held a 38-30 edge in points scored inside the paint and received 28 points off the bench to only 10 for the Lakers in a game that featured two lead changes and was tied three different times.

With the loss, Ferris State dropped to 19-9 overall and 13-9 in the GLIAC while GVSU improved to 18-10 overall and 12-10 in conference action.

Tuesday's GLIAC Tourney quarterfinal-round game at Findlay will be broadcast live on Sunny 97.3 FM and the Bulldog Sports Network starting with pregame coverage at 6:30 p.m. (ET). The winner of Tuesday's contest between FSU and Findlay will advance to the GLIAC Semifinals on March 5 at the site of the highest remaining seed following the first round.