Big Rapids, Mich. - The nationally 13th-ranked Ferris State University men's basketball squad battled back after a tough start, but came up short in a 100-86 setback to fifth-ranked Northwest Missouri State on Sunday (Nov. 4) evening as the Bulldogs wrapped up the season-opening Small College Basketball Hall of Fame Classic in St. Joseph, Mo.
In a contest that pitted the last two national champions in Division II basketball, the Bearcats stormed in front early as they made their first 10 three-point field goal attempts while building a 57-41 lead.
Northwest Missouri State increased the margin to as many as 26 points, but FSU rallied back and cut the margin down to as few as 11 points with four minutes left in the contest.
However, the Bearcats held on down the stretch and prevailed as FSU closed the tourney with a 1-1 overall mark at the St. Joseph Civic Center. FSU had beat 2017 national runner-up Fairmont State (W.Va.) 78-76 in the season opener to open the tourney on Saturday.
Junior guard Greg Williams' sparked the Bulldogs comeback effort and finished with a team-high 22 points in the contest for FSU. He made six-of-eight field goals and went five-of-six from long range in the game.
Overall, Northwest Missouri hit on 57% of its field goals and went 14-of-24 (58.3%) from beyond the arc in moving to 2-0 on the year.
Ferris State heated up as the game wore on as the Bulldogs finished shooting at a 50% clip and made eight-of-17 (47.1%) three's to go with a strong 19-of-20 (95%) effort at the free throw line.
Both squads finished with nine turnovers apiece and three steals, but the Bearcats owned a 33-22 rebounding edge for the game. Northwest Missouri also went 20-of-23 (87%) at the line.
Trevor Hudgins paced NW Missouri with a game-high 26 points while Ryan Hawkins totaled 20 points. Joey Witthus added 19 points, Kirk Finley scored 17 points and Ryan Welty notched 11 poitns as all five Bearcat starters reached double-digits.
Junior guard D'angelo Hughes dished out four assists in the Bulldog setback while Mayfield had three overall.
The setback snapped a school-record 27-game regular-season winning streak for the Bulldogs dating back to last December.
Ferris State will look to begin a new streak next weekend as the Bulldogs take part in the GLIAC/GMAC Crossover Challenge on Saturday and Sunday, Nov. 10-11, in West Virginia. FSU faces Davis & Elkins on Saturday before visiting Alderson-Broaddus on Sunday with both games set for 1 p.m. (ET) starts.