Time to step up

Men’s basketball splits northern road trip

A snow-filled weekend saw the Ferris men’s basketball team traveling to the Upper Peninsula to take on two challenging opponents in hostile territory.

The Bulldogs took on Northern Michigan University (NMU) Thursday, Jan. 16, as they claimed their third straight road win with a 61-48 victory.

Ferris was led by sophomore forward Mason Pline who contributed a double-double effort with 12 points and 10 rebounds. Ferris junior guard Walt Kelser collected nine points, while fellow junior Dorian Aluyi posted eight points in the victory.

“I haven’t really come from winning programs so it really feels good right now that all our work is paying off being at the top of the conference now,” Aluyi said. “We got to do our work here, on the road, at practice and then in the games.”

Ferris took the court again on Saturday, Jan. 18, against Michigan Technilogical University (MTU) looking to finish their five-game road stretch in the GLIAC with a victory. Unfortunately, Ferris was unable to get by the Huskies, dropping the contest 102-90 as they tried to fight back from a 54-32 halftime deficit. With this loss the Bulldogs now stand at 18-3 overall and are 7-2 in the GLIAC.

“Tech is in the conversation for the most talented team in the league,” Ferris men’s basketball head coach Andy Bronkema said. “At Tech, it’s like playing in Europe, you might as well be halfway around the world as far as home court advantage.”

NMU and MTU are both solid programs and Bronkema said a split is the rule of thumb at the very least, and the team is just trying to take the season one day at a time.

“I like making this trip because it’s fun to be with our team, people that we enjoy hanging out with and being around for a long period of time,” Bronkema said. “So it’s a fun road trip, and it’s hard competition, so it’s enjoyable. You try to win every game and it’s hard to do so we are going to try to do just that.”

With the Bulldogs standing at the top of the GLIAC, the team has shown it is more than capable of changing leadership roles depending on the situation. Bronkema said everyone has had their moments to lead and that the leadership approach the team takes is top-down, starting with the coaches.

“Different people lead at different times and it’s not just the seniors; sometimes it’s the freshman or the sophomores whatever just happens right there,” Ferris senior center Cole Walker said. “We’re working hard and trying to stay up there, but it’s not done yet. The GLIAC is tough and any team can take any other team out whenever, so we just got to keep going.”

The Ferris men’s basketball team will be back in action on their home court inside Jim Wink Arena as they host Wisconsin Parkside 5:30 pm Thursday, Jan 23.