FSU MEN’S BASKETBALL: Bulldogs hold off Warriors

UP FOR TWO: Ferris State’s Drew Cushingberry (31) goes up for a shot against a Wayne State defender during Sunday’s men’s basketball action at Jim Wink Arena. (Pioneer photo/Ryan Zuke)

UP FOR TWO: Ferris State’s Drew Cushingberry (31) goes up for a shot against a Wayne State defender during Sunday’s men’s basketball action at Jim Wink Arena. (Pioneer photo/Ryan Zuke)

BIG RAPIDS — It wasn’t pretty, but Ferris State University’ men’s basketball team eked out a 71-68 victory over Wayne State University on Sunday at Jim Wink Arena.

Despite 52 fouls in the game, FSU defended a long, last-second 3-point attempt by the Warriors’ Ronald Booth to seal it.

“There was zero flow to the game,” FSU head coach Andy Bronkema said. “There were just a lot of whistles. It was ugly.”

Moments after Michael Lewis cut the WSU deficit to 64-62 with 2:12 remaining, a Drew Cushingberry layup and a James Chappell 3-pointer put the Bulldogs ahead 69-62 with 1:17 to go.

With 23 seconds left, Cushingberry netted another basket to give FSU a 71-65 lead, but Clark Bishop kept the Warriors alive with a triple 9 seconds later. Booth then had a steal with 7 seconds left, but his last-second shot was off the mark.

“They are a good basketball team,” Bronkema said. “That was another reason it was so ugly. We’ve been defending fairly well, and they are a very good defensive team. Also, being tired on the second night of a back-to-back, it was just a sloppy game.”

The Bulldogs (10-2, 4-2 Great Lakes Intercollegiate Athletic Conference)  also won 72-69 over the University of Findlay on Saturday— their first two home games at Wink Arena in more than a month.

“You try and be positive and try and take something positive away from it,” Bronkema said. “It’s an expectation we’ve built for ourselves to win these home games, and sometimes I think we don’t enjoy them enough. They weren’t easy. Those are two pretty good basketball teams and certainly good coaches.”

Senior center Jared Stolicker led FSU with 22 points. He was 12 of 15 from the free-throw line.

“We pounded the ball down low to Jared in the second half, and what stuck out is just his effort in practice to be a better free throw shooter, and he made them (Sunday)t,” Bronkema said.

Cushingberry finished with 13 points, while senior Josh Fleming scored 11.

The Bulldogs squandered a 12-point lead in the first half. After redshirt freshman Zach Hankins’ layup gave FSU a 23-11 advantage with 7:22 left, the Warriors ended the half on a 16-4 run.

“We were a little weak with the basketball,” Bronkema said. “They got real physical and we coughed it up a few times. And really, we just missed some shots we have to knock down.”

FSU travels to Malone on Thursday. 

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Posted by Ryan Zuke

Ryan is the sports editor for the Big Rapids Pioneer, covering local prep sports and Ferris State athletics. He can be contacted at (231) 592-8363 or rzuke@pioneergroup.com.

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