Ferris State Advances To NCAA D2 Regional Semifinals With Homecourt Victory




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Big Rapids, Mich. - The nationally second-ranked Ferris State University men's basketball squad advanced to the NCAA Midwest Regional Semifinals for the third-straight year with a 75-57 victory over the Ohio Dominican Panthers in front of a large crowd on Saturday (March 10) night at FSU's Jim Wink Arena.

The Bulldogs opened their fourth-straight trip to the national tournament by posting their nation-leading 33rd victory of the year and increased their winning streak to 21-straight games.

With the win, Ferris State will now square off against fellow Great Lakes Intercollegiate Athletic Conference (GLIAC) rival Lake Superior State in Sunday's (March 11) second regional semifinal at 7:30 p.m. (ET) in Big Rapids. Second-seeded Bellarmine (Ky.) and third-seeded Findlay will meet in the first semifinal at 5 p.m. (ET) with the winners advancing to Tuesday (March 13) night's regional title game.

FSU is hosting its first-ever NCAA men's basketball regional in Big Rapids.

Ferris State junior center Zach Hankins finished with a team-best 16 points, 11 rebounds and three blocks to pace the Bulldogs. Senior guard Drew Cushingberry added 14 points with three steals and three assists as well while junior forward Markese Mayfield had 12 points and eight rebounds.

The Panthers attempted to slow the Bulldog attack in the opening half as the Bulldogs went into the locker room up only a point at 30-29 at halftime. The Bulldogs shot 36.1% from the floor in the opening half.

In the second half, the Bulldogs caught fire and shot 54.2% from the floor while holding the Panthers to 33.3% overall. FSU didn't allow a single ODU three-pointer in the second half.

The Bulldogs outscored the Panthers in points off of turnovers 20-6 along with 19-2 on fast break points for the game.

Both teams pulled down 41 rebounds for the game, but the Panthers who notched 16 on the offensive glass to Ferris State's nine. Despite that fact, FSU held a slight edge in second chance scoring.

At the charity stripe, the Bulldogs were a flawless 18-of-18 for the game while only allowing the Panthers 11 shots from the free throw line.

Ohio Dominican was led by the 19 points and 11 rebounds from Hasan Varence while Shemar Waugh put up 11 points and added a pair of assists for the Panthers.

The victory was FSU's eight in eight matchups all-time against Ohio Dominican, which closed the year with a loss in its first-ever NCAA Tournament appearance.

Ferris State stayed unbeaten at home this year with the triumph as the Bulldogs are now 20-0 at home this season and have won 26-straight home games dating back to last season.

The FSU Ticket Office will open prior to Sunday's regional semifinals at 3 p.m. (ET) with the doors to Wink Arena opening an hour prior to the tipoff of the opening game.