Postgame Interview & Highlights
Big Rapids, Mich. - The Ferris State University men's basketball squad earned a big win on Senior Day as FSU topped Northern Michigan on Saturday (Feb. 15) by a 71-68 score to stay atop the Great Lakes Intercollegiate Athletic Conference (GLIAC) North Division standings.
With the win, Ferris State moved to 24-5 overall and 13-4 in the GLIAC, holding onto a two-game lead in the GLIAC North Division standings.
Ferris State fell behind by 10 points late in the first half before rallying to cut the margin to five, 43-38, at halftime. However, the Bulldogs started the second half strong and eventually took the lead before the game went back and forth in the second frame.
Eventually, the Bulldogs seized control and garnered the win behind the play of junior guard Walt Kelser, who came up big late and finished with a team-high 19 points in 25 minutes of action. The game featured 12 lead changes and the score was tied five times overall.
Along with Kelser, Williams added 11 points with six rebounds and six assists after earning the start on Senior Day. Hughes tallied nine points and five helpers with Walker scoring seven points and pulling down six rebounds as the trio of seniors combined for 27 points, 16 rebounds, 12 assists and three steals.
Ferris State shot 51.8% from the floor and went eight-of-19 (42.1%) from the three-point line while making five-of-nine (55.6%) free throws.
Meanwhile, NMU converted at a 43.4% clip and hit 14-of-33 (42.4%) three's, but was limited to only three made long range tries over the final 20 minutes after a hot shooting start. The Wildcats made eight-of-10 (80%) free throws.
Ferris State owned a 33-27 rebounding edge and came up with 10 offensive boards, which helped lead to a 15-7 advantage in second chance scoring. The Bulldogs also outscored NMU 34-16 inside the paint and 15-8 on the break.
Sam Taylor paced Northern Michigan with 21 points and seven assists to go with five steals as the Wildcats fell to 11-14 overall and 8-9 in the GLIAC. Ben Wolf added 14 points, Alec Fruin scored 13 poitns and Myles Howard totaled 12 points in the setback.
The Bulldogs dished out 21 assists and notched nine steals along with five blocked shots in the victory. Junior forward Dorian Aluyi totaled four steals in the win.
Ferris State, which clinched both a GLIAC Tournament berth and a quarterfinal-round home game with the win, will hit the road next week as FSU visits Purdue Northwest on Thursday (Feb. 20) evening and Wisconsin-Parkside on Saturday (Feb. 22) afternoon.