Big Rapids, Mich. - The nationally 12th-ranked Ferris State University men's basketball squad officially opened the 2020-21 campaign on Saturday (Dec. 12), but fell to Mercyhurst by a 78-41 score in Erie, Pa.
The Bulldogs, who were playing without three returning starters in addition to senior forward and veteran Michael Peterson, battled the host Lakers early before MC opened up a 34-18 halftime edge.
FSU could get no closer in the second half after an early start as the Lakers opened the year with a 1-0 mark.
A total of eight Bulldogs saw their first action in a FSU uniform as only four letterwinners from a year ago played in the game.
The Bulldogs were led by sophomore guard Ben Davidson, who connected on a pair of three's and finished with a team-high 12 points in the setback. Junior forward Mason Pline also reached double-figures with 11 points in the game.
Ferris State was limited to only 31% shooting on the road, including three-of-17 (17.6%) beyond the arc. FSU did go six-of-nine (66.7%) at the free throw line, but had 16 turnovers overall against a Mercyhurst team that returned nearly its entire lineup from last year's squad that reached the NCAA Tournament.
The Lakers were led by MiyKah McIntosh's game-high 17 points. Danny Ogele added 15 points and Steve Cannady finished with 10 points for the hosts.
Mercyhurst shot 50% overall and went six-of-13 (46.2%) from three-point range while making all 16 of their free throw attempts on their home floor. They also outrebounded the Bulldogs 38-27 for the game and had only nine turnovers.
The two teams will square off again on Sunday (Dec. 13) in the weekend finale with tipoff set for 1 p.m. (ET) in Erie, Pa.