UNIVERSITY CENTER, Mich.- The Saginaw Valley State men's basketball team capped off a three-game homestand on Thursday night against the GLIAC North division rival Ferris State Bulldogs, who entered the contest riding an eight-game winning streak. Saginaw Valley would outshoot Ferris State during the game but was handed a loss by a final score of 95-85.
Saginaw Valley scored first in the game, with Mike Wells securing the offensive rebound and scoring to give the Cardinals the brief 2-0 lead. FSU would then score the next five points of the game, taking a 5-2 lead at the 18:13 mark of the first half. C.J. Turnage stalled any thought of a Bulldog run with a layup that cut the deficit to one. FSU regained its three point edge until Richie Roberts scored his first points of the game. The Bulldogs headed into the first media timeout with a 9-6 lead.
The Bulldogs quickly extended its lead following the stoppage with a 7-0 scoring run in 2:02 of play to take a commanding 16-6 lead over the Cardinals, forcing SVSU to burn its first timeout. Saginaw Valley would then score off a jump shot from Malik Garner and forced a turnover that was scored by Turnage that cut the deficit to 16-10. Ferris State would score on another jumper and Garrett Hall's first points of the half sent the Cardinals into the media timeout trailing, 18-12.
Caleb Davis cut FSU's lead to three points with his first three-pointer of the game following the stoppage of play. After another basket from Ferris, SVSU worked its way back into the game with a 22-21 score with 6:29 left in the first half. The Cardinals would then take its first lead at the 5:36 mark with a layup from Wells. The 25-24 SVSU lead was erased on the next possession as FSU took its third lead of the half with a long make from three-point territory.
Ferris State would not reliniquish the lead for the remainder of the half. After extending the lead to five points with 2:43 left to play, Hall knocked down a three that made the score 31-29. Ferris State regained its five-point edge on the next drive with a three of their own. Hall scored on the next sequence for SVSU to make it a one possession game.
The Bulldogs lead stayed at two points until a three-pointer that beat the buzzer gave FSU a 39-34 lead heading into halftime.
Saginaw Valley tightened up its gameplan for the second half and never let the Bulldogs run away with the game. The Cardinals made it a one possession again with a pair of baskets coming from Mike Wells at 18:45 of the second half. The Bulldogs then hit a three to take a 44-38 advantage over the Cardinals. SVSU would work itself back into the contest as Devin Dixon would turn an offensive rebound into a foul and a three point play after sinking the free throw with 16:52 left to play.
The Cardinals tied the game at 46-46 with a Hall three-pointer coming after the media timeout. SVSU then took the lead back from Ferris State, who led three separate times in the first half, with a layup make from Wells. FSU then retook the edge with a jumper. SVSU grabbed the lead once again with a mid-range jump shot from Hall. The Bulldogs would then regain the upper hand on SVSU and would not let the Cardinals lead the remainder of the contest.
Ferris State padded a 63-59 lead with 8:31 remaining with three additional points to take a seven point lead into the late stages of regulation. A pair of made free throws from Davis briefly pushed the advantage to five for the Bulldogs, who would then take their largest lead of the half, 71-63 with 6:57 left to play. SVSU would only work the Bulldog lead down to 72-67 before the media timeout and was looking to make a comeback.
The Bulldogs thwarted any comeback effort with a 7-0 scoring run exiting the stoppage for a 79-67 edge. It was FSU's largest lead at the time. SVSU worked the deficit to 79-71 with 2:30 left to play before Ferris State rattled off six unanswered points and forced an SVSU timeout with the Cardinals trailing 85-71.
Ferris State would restore its lead to as high as 14 points with 1:06 remaining on the clock en route to handing SVSU's its fifth consecutive loss, 95-85 at O'Neill Arena.
Inside the Boxscore
- Mike Wells shot a career-high 10-for-13 from the field en route to a career-best 23 points against the Bulldogs. Wells also had three assists and one steal in the contest and was recognized as the Meijer "Player of the Game"
- Garrett Hall had a team-high 31 points to go along with five rebounds and a steal for the Cardinals. Hall set a new career-high in points for the second consecutive game while establishing new personal bests in field goals made (11) and attempts (21) as well.
- C.J. Turnage chipped in with 10 points and hauled in four rebounds in 34 minutes of play.
- Saginaw Valley shot 52.5% from the field over the Bulldogs, who were 51.5% for the contest.
- The Cardinals also edged the Bulldogs in points in the paint with both squads scoring 16 points from its bench.
Saginaw Valley State men's basketball travels to Grand Valley State University looking to erase a five-game losing skid against another GLIAC North division rival. This is the first meeting of the season between the two squads. Tip-off from GVSU will begin 2:00 p.m. The Cardinals split the season series with the Lakers last season.
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