The nationally second-ranked Ferris State University men's basketball team advanced to the NCAA Division II Sweet Sixteen for the second time in three years and reached the Midwest Regional Championship game as the Bulldogs beat league rival Lake Superior State 94-71 on Sunday (March 11) night inside FSU's Jim Wink Arena.
The Bulldogs pushed their win streak to 22 consecutive games before a large crowd and beat the Lakers, who handed FSU its only loss this season, for the third time this year.
With the win, the Bulldogs will now square off against former Great Lakes Intercollegiate Athletic Conference (GLIAC) foe Findlay in the regional title game on Tuesday (March 13) night in Big Rapids with a berth in the Division II Elite Eight on the line.
Depth and play on the glass proved to be a huge factor for the Bulldogs as they scored 35 points off the bench, including 16 coming from sophomore forward Jaylin McFadden. Ferris State was led by junior center Zach Hankins, who dominated the paint with 18 points and 18 rebounds in the contest to go with three blocked shots.
In the starting line up, senior guard Drew Cushingberry added 15 points points and seven assists while senior forward Noah King scored 14 points and had six rebounds.
Ferris State shot 48.7% from the floor in the opening half and held Lake Superior State to only 25% shooting from the floor behind a strong defensive effort.
They Lakers remained within striking distance as they shot 33 times from the charity stripe for the night.
However, the Bulldogs built a 14-point halftime lead and cruised to the victory while outrebounding the Lakers 52-36 for the game.
The Lakers were led by the 19 points of Ke'montrece Collins. LSSU's Malek Adams had 18 points with the points for both coming off the bench.
Ferris State led for 39:17 of the contest and the score was only tied once for the opening 43 seconds.
FSU's strength on the glass gave the Bulldogs a 24-14 edge in second chance production as FSU tallied 19 offensive rebounds. The Bulldogs also outscored the Lakers 36-26 in the paint in the fourth matchup of the year between the two schools.
Overall, FSU shot 47% for the night and went 10-of-28 (35.7%) from three-point range along with 14-of-22 (63.6%) at the line. LSSU finished 31.3% overall and made only four-of-18 (22.2%) three's along with 27-of-33 (81.8%) free throws.
The Bulldogs limited standout Lake Superior State guard Akaemji Williams to only eight points on two-of-13 shooting overall.
Ferris State's win was its nation-leading 34th of the season as the Bulldogs improved to 34-1 overall and stayed perfect (21-0) at home this year. FSU has now won 27-straight games at home dating back to last campaign.
The Bulldogs will square off against the Findlay Oilers in the NCAA Midwest Regional Championship Game on Tuesday with tipoff set for 7 p.m. (ET) inside Wink Arena.
The FSU Athletics Ticket Office will be open Monday from 9 a.m. (ET) to 5 p.m. (ET) and will open again on Tuesday starting at 9 a.m. leading up to game time. Tickets can also be purchased online at StarTickets.com. Visit FerrisStateBulldogs.com or call (231) 591-2888 for additional information.