Ferris State men’s basketball beat D-I Bowling Green St.

BOWLING GREEN, Ohio — The Ferris State University men’s basketball squad pulled off a big exhibition victory on Sunday as FSU upset NCAA Division I Bowling Green State, 82-68, in action at the Stroh Center.

The Bulldogs recorded the win with a big second half as they handed the Falcons only their third loss of the campaign. The game was played as an exhibition outing for FSU, but counted as a regular-season matchup for BGSU.

Ferris State, which had won eight-straight games coming into the contest and owned an 8-2 mark, gave the Falcons everything they could handle in the first half as FSU jumped out to a one-point halftime lead.

The Bulldogs shot a blistering 58.3 percent in the second half and led by as many as 20 points with 1:47 to go in topping a Division I school for the first time since a regular-season win at Oakland back in 2000. FSU has had several close calls versus the larger division since then, including a memorable and controversial overtime setback at Indiana in 2010, but had not been able to pull out the victory until Sunday’s contest.

It marked a happy homecoming for senior guard Drew Lehman, who delighted a large number of friends and family on hand by scoring a game-high 29 points on 10-of-17 shooting. The Toledo native led the way for FSU in the game and hit all six of his free throws as Ferris State finished 19-of-22 (86.4 percent) at the line.

The Bulldogs also received 23 points and 13 rebounds from junior forward Josh Fleming in a double-double effort. He knocked down four three-pointers and helped spark the Bulldog charge early in the second half after a strong first half showing.

While those two were the lone players in double-figures for Ferris State, the Bulldogs did receive important contributions up and down the lineup against the long and lengthy Bowling Green frontcourt. Junior guard Jibreel Jackson added nine points, junior center Jared Stolicker had eight points and senior guard Dietrich Lever chipped in seven points for FSU.

The Bulldogs also owned a 40-32 rebounding advantage fueled by Fleming’s game-high 13 boards. Junior forward James Chappell added seven rebounds for Ferris State, which tallied nine offensive boards.

FSU finished shooting 49.1 percent for the game and hit nine-of-18 (50 percent) threes. BGSU finished at 41.9 percent overall.

The Bulldogs also netted 16 assists, including four from Lever, and tallied eight blocked shots with Stolicker totaling five. FSU had two steals. The game, which was the first meeting between the two schools on the hardwood since 1982-83, featured four lead changes and was tied three times. FSU never trailed in the second half.

The Bulldogs, who also own a first-place 4-0 mark in Great Lakes Intercollegiate Athletic Conference (GLIAC) play this season, will break for the holidays before returning to league action on Friday, Jan. 2, 2015 at Findlay. The contest tips off as the second game of a league doubleheader at 7:30 p.m.

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