Living on the edge has been an understatement for the men’s basketball team.
After making an 18-point comeback against Findlay and being down in the second half of the 82-67 win against Hillsdale on Wednesday, it’s safe to say that lately the Bulldogs have been a second half team. When you’re a second half team, sometimes the bounce doesn’t go your way.
This was the case for the Bulldogs on Saturday as they faced off against the Lewis University Flyers, who were 0-3 going into the contest. Once again, the Bulldogs went down big in the second half, facing a 17-point deficit minutes into the second half.
Ferris men’s basketball head coach Andy Bronkema commented on the Bulldogs’ tendency to go down early in games.
“I don’t really know otherwise we’d be doing it. I think it has to do with a little bit of the mentality, we have the back to the wall mentality, it’s also part of our style of play,” Bronkema said. “We can’t wear a team down at the beginning of the game, they’re fresh. We’ll try to figure it out, we have a long season.”
The Bulldogs made it a game with a rapid comeback in the final 10 minutes of the game. A game tying three pointer with less than 20 seconds to go by junior guard Walt Kelser seemed to be the break the Bulldogs needed as the game was tied at 77. It was not to be, and the Flyers hit a layup to take the lead with less than 2 seconds to go to win 79-77.
Kelser finished with 15 points, 5 rebounds and 3 assists and didn’t seem nervous when tasked with making a big shot to tie the game in the last minute of the game.
“The original play was to get a stop and hit a two, but when they hit their shot to go up three, we had to switch the call. My coaches said that we needed a three, so I just did my best to get open,” Kelser said.
An issue for the Bulldogs was the Flyers’ three-point efficiency. Lewis shot 40.6% from behind the arc, going 13-32. The Bulldogs were only able to shoot 22.7% from behind the arc, going 5-22, instead focusing on points in the paint, where they outscored the Flyers 36-26.
“Some of it was just them making good shots and other parts, our coverage was a little loose,” Bronkema said.
Junior forward Michael Peterson was a major part of leading the comeback and led the Bulldogs in scoring with 17 points, tacking on 9 rebounds and 2 assists.
“Well we’ve been down 15 pretty much every game the last three games. At the end they decided to make their shots and we couldn’t,” Peterson said. “So, it really came down to which team could make their shots at the end. Defensively, there was probably too much penetration I would say, and everybody had their time giving up penetration and it hurt us. They would get it down the middle and kick it outside and make it every time.”
With their first loss, the Bulldogs drop to 8-1 on the season, with back-to-back home games before Thanksgiving. They will face Grace Christian 7 p.m. Tuesday, Nov. 26 and East-West University 7 p.m. Wednesday Nov. 27.