Ferris State’s men’s basketball team fell just short in the NCAA Div. 2 Midwest Regional Championship in a 63-61 loss to Saginaw Valley State on Tuesday night.
The Bulldogs came out slow and trailed the Cardinals 9-1 early in the first half, but they fought back hard, taking a 28-26 lead with 3:16 left in the first half and eventually extended their lead to as much as eight when they lead 37-29 with 15:32 left in the game.
Ferris State held their last lead with 3:31 left when they had a 51-50 advantage over the Cardinals, but the tipping point in the game came when the score was locked at 53 apiece. Saginaw Valley State scored two quick baskets to get up by four and never relinquished the lead as SVSU senior guard Damon Bozeman knocked down six free-throws in the final 41 seconds of the game to fend off the Bulldogs who made two desperation threes in the last 14 seconds.
Both teams had trouble shooting from the field throughout the game. Ferris State shot 38.3 percent from the floor while SVSU made 35.5 percent of the shots they put up.
A total of nine Ferris players scored in the game, and the Dawgs were lead in the points column by sophomore guard Drew Cushingberry and senior center Jared Stolicker who had 14 and 13 points respectively.
Bozeman’s late free-throws helped him on his way to becoming the leading scorer for the Cardinals with 14 points. He was joined in double digits by junior guard Garrett Hall with 12 points.
Though the Bulldogs played solid defense down low, blocking 12 shots in the game, they had trouble on the glass and were outrebounded 48-36 overall and 17-8 on offensive rebounds.
Ferris State ended their season as GLIAC Tournament Champions and made it to the round-of-16 in the Div. 2 NCAA Tournament. Their overall record on the season was 24-10, with three of those losses coming to the regular season GLIAC Champion Cardinals. They reached the Sweet 16 for the fifth time in school history and first time since 2011.
Ferris State’s four seniors—Jibreel Jackson, Josh Fleming, James Chappell and Stolicker all played their final game as a Bulldog on Tuesday night.