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Rough Times on the Road

FSU loses lead in GLIAC North Division standings

by Published: Feb 22, 2012

Losing to Findlay: FSU fresh­man guard Dietrich Lever reaches for the bas­ket dur­ing a Bulldog game ear­lier this sea­son. Photo By: Brock Copus | Multimedia Editor

Nothing is ever set in stone, espe­cially the GLIAC North Division standings.

The Ferris State University men’s bas­ket­ball team suf­fered two tough set­backs on the road against Wayne State University (Feb. 16) and the University of Findlay (Feb. 18).The losses caused FSU to fall in the con­fer­ence stand­ings, and the Bulldogs now share pos­s­e­sion of first place.

In Thursday night’s game, the Bulldogs trailed by 13 points late in the sec­ond half but bat­tled back to force the Warriors into over­time before ulti­mately falling to WSU by a 72–69 score. FSU senior for­ward Jerrell Sanders tied the game up in the final minute of reg­u­la­tion and had the oppor­tu­nity to seal the vic­tory on the final pos­ses­sion of reg­u­la­tion but turned the ball over. In over­time, FSU fresh­man guard Dietrich Lever’s poten­tially game-tying three-pointer fell short as the clock ran out.

“We did a really good job play­ing together as a team,” FSU fresh­man guard Drew Lehman said. “We def­i­nitely can’t fault our effort.”

Junior for­ward Daniel Sutherlin paced the Bulldogs with 18 points, nine rebounds and three steals. Sanders added18 points, four steals and two blocked shots. FSU also received double-figure scor­ing from senior guard Dontae Molden (13) and junior guard Kenny Brown (10).

All in all, the hard-fought con­test fea­tured eight lead changes and the score was tied seven times. With the win, WSU improved to 15–8 over­all and 12–5 in league play. The Warriors snapped the Bulldogs’ six-game win­ning streak. However, FSU did man­age to clinch a spot as one of the eight teams for the 2012 GLIAC Postseason Tournament.

On Feb. 18. FSU trav­elled to Ohio to take on the University of Findlay. The Oilers had won 75 con­sec­u­tive con­fer­ence regular-season home games. They had not lost a con­fer­ence game at home since 2004. Unfortunately for the Bulldogs, UF recorded its 76th-consecutive home vic­tory with a 74–69 win over FSU.

“When their fans started to get into it in the sec­ond half as they started to come back, it was def­i­nitely not like any other game atmos­phere I’d ever expe­ri­enced,” Lehman said.

The Bulldogs held a 41–33 half­time advan­tage but were held score­less over a big stretch of the final 10 min­utes of the con­test. The Oilers cap­i­tal­ized on the oppor­tu­nity and never relin­quished the lead after pulling ahead in the final five min­utes. With the vic­tory, UF improved to 19–6 over­all and 13–5 in con­fer­ence action.

Brown led FSU with 24 points–15 of which came in the first half. Sanders con­tributed 14 points. Molden added six assists.

“We just need to focus on get­ting bet­ter, and it starts with Hillsdale,” Lehman said. “They’ve already won their con­fer­ence, so it will be a good test for us as we get ready for the GLIAC tournament.”

With the set­back, the Bulldogs fell to 15–9 over­all and 12–4 in GLIAC action. FSU is now tied with Northwood University atop the GLIAC North Division stand­ings with two games left in the reg­u­lar sea­son. Michigan Tech University trails the co-leaders by just one game in the stand­ings. However, the Bulldogs could poten­tially host a first-round quar­ter­fi­nal game of the GLIAC Postseason Tournament which would take place Feb. 29 at Jim Wink Arena.

FSU will look to bounce back from its road losses Feb. 22 when the Bulldogs host Hillsdale College for “Senior Night.” FSU will honor the team’s three senior play­ers prior to the sched­uled 8 p.m. tipoff.

It would def­i­nitely mean a lot to get a win for the seniors in their last reg­u­lar sea­son home game,” Lehman said. “I speak for all the under­class­men when I say it would be awe­some to be able to con­tribute enought to get them a win.”