Highlights & Postgame Interview
Big Rapids, Mich. - The nationally eighth-ranked Ferris State University men's basketball squad opened the New Year in a big way as the Bulldogs knocked off 17th-ranked Grand Valley State on Thursday (Jan. 2) night 85-73 for their 15th win of the year and first of 2020 at FSU's Jim Wink Arena.
In the battle of top 20 ranked squads, Ferris State tallied 51 points in the second half in pulling away from the Lakers in the West Michigan rivalry showdown between a pair of teams that were unbeaten in Great Lakes Intercollegiate Athletic Conference (GLIAC) play.
Ferris State moved to a nation-leading 15-1 on the year and 4-0 in the conference while the Lakers fell to 10-2 overall and 3-1 in the GLIAC in the only regular-season matchup of the year between the two longtime rivals.
The Bulldogs trailed 35-34 after a back-and-forth first half, but built a double-digit lead in the second period and came away with their seventh-straight victory.
Junior guard Walt Kelser tallied a game-high 24 points for the Bulldogs with sophomore forward Mason Pline adding 13 points off the bench. FSU also got 12 points from junior forward Dorian Aluyi to go with 11 by freshman wing Deng Reng and 10 from senior guard D'angelo Hughes, who also finished with seven assists.
The Bulldogs shot 50% overall from the floor and made eight-of-25 (32%) three's with a 21-of-34 (61.8%) showing at the free throw line.
Defensively, the Bulldogs limited GVSU to only 39.7% shooting with the Lakers making five-of-24 (20.8%) from long range and 14-of-18 (77.8%) free throws.
Grand Valley State outrebounded the Bulldogs 41-36 and had 15 offensive boards, but the Bulldogs also came up with 12 steals and five blocked shots to only six steals and a single block on the Lakers' side.
The Bulldogs held GVSU standout Jake Van Tubbergen to a five-of-15 shooting figure and he missed all four of his three-point tries, but still fnished with a team-high tying 14 points. Jayden Hodgson added 14 points with Isaac Gassman compiling 13 points and Christian Negron scoring 11 points in the contest. Jeremiah Ferguson chipped in nine points off the bench, but was only two-of-12 from the field.
Ferris State will hit the road on Saturday (Jan. 4) for another big GLIAC matchup in West Michigan as FSU visits defending conference champion Davenport for a 3 p.m. (ET) league tilt in Caledonia.