The Ferris State University men's basketball team struggled in 79-66 Great Lakes Intercollegiate Athletic Conference (GLIAC) setback to the Hillsdale Chargers on Thursday (Feb. 5) evening inside HC's Jesse Phillips Arena at Hillsdale, Mich.
The Chargers shot 53.8% (14-26) in the opening frame in grabbing a 37-25 halftime edge. FSU shot only 31% (9-29) in the first period.
In the second half, the Bulldogs trimmed a 17-point Charger advantage down to as few as five points with 10 minutes to go, but Hillsdale outscored FSU 26-18 the rest of the way in notching the win.
Foul trouble plagued FSU for much of the game as the GLIAC's leading scorer, sophomore forward/center Justin Keenan, notched his third and fourth fouls in the opening minute of the second half and then fouled out of the game with six minutes left. Two other Bullog players also fouled out of the contest as Ferris totaled 24 personal fouls in the game.
The Chargers held Keenan to 12 points, which tied for Bulldog team-high honors along with junior guard Josh Young. Freshman guard Dontae Molden added 10 points in the loss.
HC was paced by Tony Gugino's double-double effort of 15 points and 10 boards. Both Keith MacKenzie and Travis Worst chipped in 13 points while Evan Steward compiled 10 points.
Ferris shot only 33% (21-65) for the night compared to HC's 55.1% (27-49) figure. The Bulldogs were seven-of-23 (30.4%) beyond the three-point arc and 17-of-27 (63%) at the free throw line. Meanwhile, Hillsdale made three-of-14 (21.4%) treys and 22-of-30 (73.3%) free throws.
The Chargers outrebounded Ferris 38-32 for the game although the Bulldogs grabbed 16 offensive boards. FSU also had nine assists, eight steals and two blocked shots with the Chargers totaling 15 assists, seven thefts and three blocks.
Ferris did force 17 Charger turnovers and had only 11 of its own, but Hillsdale owned a 46-18 edge in points scored inside the paint.
The Bulldogs had won eight of their last 10 games overall entering the contest and now drop to 11-9 overall and 9-6 in league play. The Chargers snapped FSU's two-game winning steak by improving to 10-9 overall and 8-7 in the GLIAC.
Things won't get any easier for the Bulldogs as they conclude their four-game league road swing with a major test as they take on nationally number-one ranked Findlay on Saturday (Feb. 7) afternoon in a 3 p.m. (EST) league tilt inside UF's Croy Gymnasium at Findlay, Ohio.