Big Rapids, Mich. - The nation's 12th-ranked Ferris State University Bulldogs closed out their season-opening men's basketball trip by falling to the Mercyhurst Lakers 87-57 on Sunday (Dec. 13) in Erie, Pa.
The Bulldogs played the second of back-to-back games against Mercyhurst, which reached the NCAA Division II Tournament last season and returns the bulk of its roster.
FSU, playing without three returning starters and a veteran regular in senior forward Michael Peterson, kept Sunday's weekend finale close much of the way before the Lakers pulled away late en route to the triumph.
Ferris State, now 0-2 overall, held the late for portions of the opening half before trailing by six, 37-31, at halftime. However, the Lakers outscored the Bulldogs 50-26 over the final 20 minutes of the contest.
The Bulldogs, who had eight players see their first action in a Bulldog uniform this weekend, were led by junior forward Mason Pline and sophomore newcomer Vejas Grazulis, who both tallied a team-high 13 points. Senior forward Logan Ryan added 12 points inside for FSU while sophomore guard Ben Davidson chipped in with nine points.
Ferris State hit four of its first seven three's, but finished four-of-19 (21.1%) beyond the arc. The Bulldogs shot 38.3% overall from the floor and went seven-of-11 (63.6%) at the free throw line.
Both MiyKah McIntosh and Nicholas Lang totaled a game-high 15 points apiece for the Lakers, who also got 12 points from both Zach McIntire and Melkisedek Moreaux. Danny Ogele and Steve Cannady each had 11 points.
Mercyhurst compiled a 53.6% shooting effort, including a seven-of-18 (38.9%) performance from three-point range to go with a 20-of-27 (74.1%) showing at the free throw stripe.
The Bulldogs did own a 37-31 rebounding edge, however FSU had 23 turnovers to only 11 for the Lakers, who are now 2-0 on the year.
Ferris State opens GLIAC action on Jan. 8-9 at home against the Ashland Eagles. Stay tuned to FerrisStateBulldogs.com for any updated schedule adjustments.