Big Rapids, Mich. - The nationally eighth-ranked Ferris State University men's basketball squad suffered its first road setback of the 2019-20 season on Saturday (Jan. 4) as Davenport pulled out a 69-65 decision against the Bulldogs in an exciting back-and-forth West Michigan showdown in Grand Rapids.
The host Panthers claimed the third-ever series' matchup with a second half charge before holding off FSU, which fought back late and had a potential game-tying three-pointer from junior guard Walt Kelser spin off the rim down the stretch.
The loss was only the second of the season for Ferris State, which is now 15-2 overall and 4-1 in conference play after entering the tilt as the league's lone remaining unbeaten in Great Lakes Intercollegiate Athletic Conference (GLIAC) action.
In a game that featured 17 lead changes and was tied 12 times, Davenport took advantage of 17 Bulldog turnovers and outscored Ferris State 20-8 on the break while holding FSU to 27 points below its season scoring average.
Point guard Chris Rollins led DU with a game-high 23 points and Janeau Joubert notched 16 points. The Panthers also received 11 points from Tafari Beckford and Evan Hines recorded 10 points in the game.
Ferris State shot 40.7% overall and went seven-of-26 (26.9%) from three-point range, including a buzzer-beating trey from Williams as the first half came to a close, giving FSU a slim 33-32 lead at the break.
The Panthers held a significant edge at the free throw stripe where they connected on 21-of-31 (67.7%) attempts to only a 10-of-12 (83.3%) showing from the Bulldogs. DU finished 43.8% overall in the shooting category and six-of-19 (31.6%) behind the three-point arc.
The Bulldogs outrebounded DU 35-30 for the day and had 11 offensive caroms, leading to a 12-3 margin in second chance scoring. FSU's bench also came up with 18 points to only four for the Davenport reserves.
Ferris State, which had its seven-game winning streak halted, will continue a five-game league road stretch as the Bulldogs visit Northwood on Thursday, Jan. 9, for an 8 p.m. (ET) conference tilt in Midland.