Postgame Press Conference
Big Rapids, Mich. - The Ferris State University men's basketball kept its March Madness run alive as the Bulldogs advanced to the NCAA Division II Midwest Regional Championship Game with an exciting 89-87 victory over Indianapolis in the semifinals on Sunday (March 13) night in Somers, Wis.
The Bulldogs, who beat Bellarmine in round one of the national tourney on Saturday, pulled out the win to reach their first regional final since 2011 and their third since 2005. The contest featured 11 changes and was tied 10 times, but in the end FSU prevailed to reach the Division II Sweet Sixteen.
The first half was back and forth with Indianapolis eventually grabbing its largest lead of the night at four points with 6:51 left in the half. However, FSU rallied late in the period and took a 41-36 halftime lead.
A quick 12-7 run to start the second half tied the game back up and the Greyhounds eventually grabbed the lead before FSU responded again. FSU regained the lead and pushed the advantage to as many as 11 points with 8:56 remaining.
However, the Greyhounds surged back behind the play of talented guard Jordan Loyd, who finished with a game-high 35 points. He brought the Greyhounds back with some timely shooting from both the outside and free throw stripe.
In the end, FSU clinged to a four-point lead and each time the Greyhounds were able to trim the margin back to a single basket. On the final try, Indianapolis pushed the ball up the floor, but a desperation try from Lucas Barker bounced off the backboard at the buzzer as FSU held on for the win.
The Bulldogs featured balanced scoring again as five players reached double-digits in the triumph. Senior forward James Chappell tallied a team-high tying 19 points on six-of-seven shooting and hit both of his three-point tries along with five-of-six free throws. He added six rebounds and a game-high five assists.
Meanwhile, senior center Jared Stolicker also scored 19 points with both senior forward Josh Fleming and sophomore guard Drew Cushingberry adding 12 points each. Off the bench, junior guard Quentin Ruff tallied 10 points, including a big second-half stretch with seven points to push FSU in front by its largest margin of the night.
Ferris State torched the nets again in the first half by shooting 73% from the floor. FSU shot 55% in the second half and finished at 62.3% for the game. The Bulldogs hit eight-of-14 (57.1%) three's and 15-of-20 (75%) free throws.
Besides Loyd, the Greyhounds received 13 points from Barker, but no other UIndy player reached double-digits in the tilt. Indianapolis suffered the setback despite shooting 51% overall, including 65% in the second half of play.
On the glass, the Bulldogs owned a 33-22 advantage with nine offensive boards, leading to a 10-8 edge in second chance production. FSU was also able to push the ball off the glass, owning a 10-2 margin in fast break scoring.
Turnovers hampered FSU at times with the Bulldogs giving up the ball 12 times, including nine in the first half. That helped Indianapolis post a 16-9 advantage in points off turnovers.
Finally, the Bulldogs dished out 20 assists to go with five steals and three blocked shots compared to Indianapolis' 16 assists, five steals and zero blocks. FSU also outscored Indianapolis in the paint by a 38-26 margin.
Ferris State will square off against fifth-seeded Saginaw Valley State in Tuesday's regional championship game starting at 8 p.m. (ET). The contest will be carried live by Sunny 97.3 FM and the Bulldog Sports Network with pregame starting a half-hour prior to tipoff. It will mark FSU's third matchup against the Cardinals this campaign.
The Bulldogs will also have a fan bus headed to the NCAA-II Regional Championship Game on Tuesday. The bus will leave at noon. For more info, please contact Jon Coles by email at email@example.com.
Ferris State Men's Basketball Advances To NCAA Midwest Regional Championship Game
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Postgame Press Conference