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Ferris State Battles #9 Minnesota Duluth To High-Scoring Double Overtime Thriller At Wink Arena

Ferris State Battles #9 Minnesota Duluth To High-Scoring Double Overtime Thriller At Wink Arena

Highlights & Postgame Comments Video

Big Rapids, Mich. - The Ferris State University men's basketball squad battled to the finish on Sunday (Jan. 2), falling to ninth-ranked Minnesota Duluth 109-107 in double-overtime in a memorable afternoon thriller inside FSU's Jim Wink Arena between two of the country's top squads.

The Bulldogs, who are ranked 23rd in the most recent National Association of Basketball Coaches (NABC) D2 Poll and as high as 10th in the country in the Division II Sports Information Directors (D2SIDA) rankings, took their fellow Bulldogs from Duluth to the wire in the first-ever matchup between the two schools.

The "Battle of the Bulldogs" contest was a late addition to the schedule for both squads after each had games cancelled this past week. Minnesota Duluth, ranked ninth in the NABC poll and sixth by D2SIDA, stayed unbeaten at 14-0 win the win while FSU fell to 9-3 overall. The game pitted two of the top 20 scoring teams in the nation.

Duluth jumped in front early, leading by as many as 11 points nine minutes into the game, but Ferris State fought back and pulled to within 47-43 at halftime. FSU outscored Duluth 45-41 in the second half as the game went back and forth down the stretch and eventually reached overtime.

In the first OT session, the Bulldogs built a five-point lead with 3:36 to go, but the visiting Bulldogs responded and tied the game back up, forcing a second overtime period. In double overtime, Duluth led by as many as five points before FSU senior guard Walt Kelser connected on a three-pointer in the closing seconds to pull FSU back within two with less than a second to play. UMD's Jacob Shields missed a pair of free throws with three-tenths of a second left and a long three-quarter court heave by FSU came up short as time ran out.

The setback came despite a game-high 37 points from Bulldog senior guard Walt Kelser, who added seven assists, six rebounds and a steal in 45 minutes of action.

Kelser was joined in double-figures by senior big man Logan Ryan as he netted 18 points and a game-high nine rebounds. FSU also got 14 points, eight boards and four assists from senior forward Dorian Aluyi along with 12 points by sophomore Ben Davidson and 10 from Vejas Grazulis on the inside.

However, all five Minnesota Duluth players also reached double-figures with Joshua Brown scoring a team-high 22 points. Drew Blair added 21 points, including a big three-pointer in the second overtime period to give Duluth a 107-104 edge, while Austin Andrews chipped in 20 points and eight rebounds before fouling out. Point guard Jack Middleton totaled 16 points and nine assists with Charlie Katona adding 15 points and seven boards.

Ferris State owned a 54-45 rebounding margin and pulled down 17 offensive caroms in the contest, giving FSU a 20-15 edge in second chance scoring. But, Duluth had only 12 turnovers in comparison to Ferris State's 17, which produced a 16-13 advantage in points off turnovers.

The game was close throughout with the lead changing hands six times and the score tied 11 different times. Both teams connected on 10 three's with FSU going 10-of-32 (31.3%) and Duluth hitting 10-of-34 (29.4%) from long range.

Meanwhile, Ferris State shot 43.4% from the floor and Duluth finished with a 46.3% shooting figure. UMD went 23-of-35 (65.7%) at the free throw line and the Bulldogs made 25-of-32 (78.1%) tries as the two teams combined for 47 fouls and 67 free throw attempts.

Finally, the Bulldogs netted seven steals and had six blocked shots with Duluth notching nine steals and five blocks. The Bulldog bench outscored the Duluth reserves 24-15 overall.

Ferris State will continue its three-game homestead this week as the Bulldogs resume GLIAC play against Wayne State on Thursday (Jan. 6) with tipoff set for 7:30 p.m. (ET) inside Wink Arena. FSU then hosts Saginaw Valley State on Saturday (Jan. 8) starting at 3 p.m. (ET).