Ferris State may have to build an addition to the trophy room, as the men’s basketball team defeated Lake Superior State in a 87-82 nailbiter to win the 2015 GLIAC Tournament Championship.
This will be the third team sporting the crimson and gold to win a conference championship, as the Ferris State football and volleyball teams also brought home GLIAC championships last fall.
After rolling through Ashland and Walsh to advance to the tournament championship game, the Bulldogs became the underdogs, as they were pitted against the top-seeded Lake Superior State Lakers in the finals.
In a high-scoring game loaded with offensive fireworks, senior guard Drew Lehman’s performance was the story of the afternoon. Lehman scored a career high 38 points and came through strong in the clutch, shooting 13-14 from the free throw line.
Junior guard Jibreel Jackson played a supporting role, scoring 10 points of his own and serving up a pair of assists. Also playing well for the Dawgs were junior guard James Chappell and junior center Jared Stolicker, who grabbed eight and seven rebounds respectively.
The Bulldogs handled the ball well, surrendering only six turnovers compared to the Lakers’ 14 giveaways. The Dawgs capitalized on LSSU’s mistakes, netting 19 points off turnovers.
Although the game was close throughout, the Bulldogs took the lead early and never surrendered it. The Laker’s closed the gap to tie the game multiple times, but were never able to overtake the Dawgs, who walked away with the 87-82 victory as champions.
With an overall record of 23-8, the Bulldogs had already established good reason to be invited to play in the Division II NCAA tournament. Now with a conference tournament championship, the Dawgs have solidified their bid, and their next opponent will be announced during tonight’s selection show, which can be streamed on NCAA.com at 10:30 p.m.