Ferris State Advances To NCAA Division II Regional Semifinal With Opening-Round Win

Ferris State Advances To NCAA Division II Regional Semifinal With Opening-Round Win

Postgame Press Conference
Postgame Video Highlights

Big Rapids, Mich. - The Ferris State University men's basketball squad advanced to the semifinals of the NCAA Division II Midwest Regional Tournament as the Bulldogs topped Truman State (Mo.) on Saturday (March 11) in national tourney action at Knights Hall in Louisville, Ky.

Ferris State advacned to round two of the national tournament with a strong second-half comeback in the school's third-straight trip to the NCAA Tournament. With the win, FSU will next face fellow Great Lakes Intercollegiate Athletic Conference (GLIAC) rival Findlay on Sunday (March 12) in the first regional semifinal starting at 5 p.m. (ET) in Louisville.

FSU fell behind 39-33 at halftime and trailed by as mnay as 13 points in the contest before freshman guard D'angelo Hughes sparked a second-half rally. He scored 11-straight Bulldog points to draw Ferris State back in the game and give FSU the lead down the stretch.

Ferris State eventually led by as many as 10 points with two minutes to play and sank 20-of-24 (83%) free throws in pulling out the triumph.

Junior guard Drew Cushingberry paced FSU with a game-high 24 points in the first-ever meeting against Truman State and he sank 11-of-13 free throws on his own while helping FSU ice the win.

Along with Cushingberry, junior wing Peter Firlik had a big day with 17 points while Hughes added 14 points. FSU also got 16 offensive rebounds from standout center Zach Hankins, including seven on the offensive glass.

The Bulldogs finished shooting 49% for the game and connected on 10-of-27 (37%) three's with seven coming in the second half. Meanwhile, FSU limited a very good Truman State shooting team to only 44.4% from the floor and six-of-20 (30%) tries from downtown. TSU went 16-of-18 (88.9%0 at the line.

Ferris State received 32 points off its bench while the Truman State reserves managed only eight points in the game. FSU also outrebounded the opposition by a 38-28 count and tallied 18 second-chance points on the strength of 14 offensive boards.

Truman State was paced by Jake Velky, who hit five three's and finished with 21 points. Connor Erickson added 19 points with Cory Myers scoring 13 points and Dwight Sistrunk, Jr., totaling 11 points.

The Bulldogs were hampered by 12 first-half turnovers, but could the figure down in the second half to finish with 12 for the game. Truman State had 12 miscues and outscored the Bulldogs 18-10 in points off turnovers.

Overall, the Bulldogs also compiled 10 assists, five steals and five blocks compared to Truman State's 13 assists, 14 steals and two blocks.

With the win, Ferris State improved to 28-4 overall this season and the 28 wins extends the school single-season record. Truman State saw its season come to a close with a 22-10 overall mark.

Sunday's regional semifinal will be carried live by local flagship station Sunny 97.3 FM and online at FerrisStateBulldogs.com with pregame coverage starting at 4:30 p.m. (ET). Findlay won the only regular-season matchup over the Bulldogs back in early December in overtime.

The winner of Sunday's regional semifinal will advance to the Midwest Regional final on Tuesday (March 14) in Louisville.