Ferris men’s basketball falls to Lake Superior State 83-79, snaps 15-game winning streak

ON THE MOVE: Ferris’ Quentin Ruff tries to drive on Lake Superior’s Josh Goldschmidt. (Pioneer photo/John Raffel)

ON THE MOVE: Ferris’ Quentin Ruff tries to drive on Lake Superior’s Josh Goldschmidt. (Pioneer photo/John Raffel)

BIG RAPIDS — The 15-game winning streak has ended, but now Ferris State will focus on staying in first place.

Lake Superior State feasted on an avalanche of shot-clock buzzer beaters and key plays down the stretch, plus timely 3-point shooting to end the Bulldog streak with an 83-79 win in Great Lakes Intercollegiate Athletic Conference men’s basketball action on Thursday.

The Lakers (14-7, 11-6) led throughout the game at Wink Arena over the Bulldogs (20-4, 14-3).

The Bulldogs entered the contest with a three-game lead over Grand Valley and Michigan Tech in the North Division. Their last loss was on Dec. 8 to Walsh 65-59.

Lake Superior was 13-of-22 in 3-pointers compared to 4-of-20 for Ferris in the game’s key stat.

“They shot the ball really well, so give them a lot of credit,” Ferris State coach Andy Bronkema said. “There’s a few threes that maybe were miscues on our part. But they knocked them down and made good plays and got the win.”

The Lakers continually worked the shot clock down to the final seconds and then hit the clutch basket. Mackenzie Edwards drove for a pair and 32-25 lead late in the half. Bronkema drew a technical after a foul call on Ferris but the Lakers only hit 1 of 4 free throws, and took a 43-37 lead into halftime.

“They got some late shots on the clock where we broke down a little bit,” Bronkema said. “Overall, it was a well fought game with a lot of big plays being made.”
Lake Superior’s patient offense continued to thrive in the second half.

Edwards connected on a 3-pointer for a 52-44 lead at the 16-minute mark of the second half.

The Bulldogs went on a six-point run. Cole Walker’s 3-point play put it to 54-53 at 12:05. A jumper from Morley Stanwood native Tim Cairnduff upped the Laker lead to 59-53 near the midway part of the half. Jordan Dasuqi’s 3-pointer made it 62-53 moments later. The Bulldogs made a run but Carson Manger’s drive at 6:31 put the Lakers up 70-61.

Dasuqi hit another shot clock buzzer beater for 3 and it was 73-66 at 3:40. Peter Firlik’s 3-point play cut it to 73-72 with 3:02 to play. Akaemji Williams hit a 3-pointer and Ferris had a turnover with the Lakers lead at 76-72.

Drew Cushingberry’s two free throws cut it to two points.

Williams had a dribble pass to Michael Nicholson for the layup and 78-74 lead. Cushingberry hit two more free throws for a two-point game. But Josh Goldschmidt’s two free throws made it 80-76 with 20 seconds to go. Cushingberry’s 3-point play cut it to two. Williams made 1 of 2 free throws. Cushingberry’s shot went off the rim and Lake Superior rebounded. Nicholson hit both free throws to seal the win.

Williams had 20 points and six assists for the Lakers while Nicholson had 18 points and 14 rebounds and Dasuqi added 17 points.

Zach Hankins and Cushingberry had 17 points apiece while Firlik had 14 points and Noah King added 10. Hankins had nine rebounds.

Ferris State plays at Northwood on Saturday.

“So now we go there and give them all that we have,”  Bronkema said. “That’s how we’ve approached every game this year and we’re excited to keep going at it.”
“We have to put this loss behind us, move forward and get ready for Northwood,” Ferris guard Quentin Ruff said. “Defense and rebounding was the key tonight.”

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Posted by John Raffel

John is a sports reporter with the Pioneer as well as the Herald Review and The Lake County Star. He also coordinates the weekly Pioneer sports outdoors page. He can be reached at (231) 592-8356 or by email at jraffel@pioneergroup.com.

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