Ferris men hold on to beat Northern

UP IN THE AIR: Ferris State sophomore Drew Lehman looks for someone to pass to during the Bulldog’s 69-63 win Saturday over Northern Michigan. (Courtesy Photo/Ferris State Ben Amato)

Bulldogs record 11th-straight win over Wildcats

MARQUETTE — The Ferris State University men’s basketball program continued its recent dominance over Northern Michigan as the Bulldogs pulled out a 69-63 win over the Wildcats in Great Lakes Intercollegiate Athletic Conference (GLIAC) North Division play on Saturday at the Berry Events Center.

Ferris State scored the opening 11 points of the contest and never trailed in beating NMU for the 11th consecutive time and the 21st overall victory in the last 24 matchups under 11th-year head coach Bill Sall. The win also gave FSU a split on its annual road trip to Michigan’s Upper Peninsula as the Bulldogs bounced back from a setback on Thursday night at Michigan Tech.

The Bulldogs jumped in front early and led 31-24 at halftime against the Wildcats, who fell to 5-16 overall and 4-13 in the GLIAC this campaign. FSU improved to 12-9 overall and 11-6 in conference competition.

Ferris State led by as many as 13 points in the second half with 7:42 to play, but the Wildcats never fully went ahead and FSU had to come up with some clutch plays down the stretch to seal the win. Northern Michigan climbed back with four points at 65-61 with 31 seconds remaining before the Bulldogs hit all four of their free throws in the final 20 seconds to account for the final margin.

Sophomore guard Drew Lehman paced FSU with a game-high tying 17 points and added three rebounds and three steals while hitting all eight of his free throw tries. He was one of four Bulldog players to reach double-digit scoring in the game.

In addition to Lehman, sophomore guard Dietrich Lever added 16 points and dished out four assists with two steals in the win. Senior guard Kenny Brown added 14 points while senior forward Daniel Sutherlin netted 10 points for FSU.

The Bulldogs hit 43.1 percent of their field goal tries and made five-of-12 (41.7 percent) three’s in addition to 20-of-23 (87 percent) free throws.

Meanwhile, Northern Michigan received 17 points from Kendall Jackson along with 14 points by Matthew Craggs and 11 each by TJ Cameron and Stephen Pelkofer. Craggs had a game-best eight rebounds in the losing effort for NMU.

The Bulldogs return home for two league games this week. FSU hosts Northwood on Thursday as part of a Valentine’s Day clash at Wink Arena with tipoff slated for 6 p.m.

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