UNIVERSITY CENTER -- In an game with an exciting finish, the SVSU Men's Basketball team lost a tightly-contested matchup with the No. 11 Ferris State Bulldogs on Sunday (Jan. 12) night at O'Neill Arena. The Cardinals erased a 15-point halftime deficit and held a lead with under four minutes to play. It wasn't enough, however, as Ferris State was able to escape with a four point win, 86-82.
Saginaw Valley falls to 11-4 overall on the season and 5-2 in the GLIAC while Ferris is now 17-2 and 6-1 in the league.
The Bulldogs led for the entire first half and carried a 46-38 lead into the halftime break. Malik Ellison led the way through the first 20 minutes for the Cards, scoring 13 points, grabbing four rebounds and adding two assists and two steals.
Ferris State's lead grew to as much as 15 points when the visitors led by a score of 61-46 with 14:11 to play in the contest.
The Cardinals picked away at that lead, however, trimming it to single digits once again with 11 minutes to play when Myles Belyeu connected on a pair of free throws to make the count 68-59 in Ferris's favor. It continued to shrink until SVSU claimed its first lead of the game at the 4:00 marker, using a Delano Smith layup off his own steal to make the score 77-76.
After a pair of Ferris freebies gave it the lead back at 78-77, they hit on a three-pointer to push the lead to four points at 81-77 with 2:43 showing on the clock.
Ellison hit on a pair of free throws to make the score 81-79 in Ferris's favor but the Bulldogs hit a jumper with 30 seconds left to push their lead back to four points (83-79).
Malik came up big again in response right back up court, drilling a deep pull-up three that found the bottom of the net and trimmed the deficit to a single point at 83-82.
After Ferris made just one of two free throws on its next possession to make the score 84-82 with 22 seconds left, the Cardinals called a timeout with 1.8 seconds remaining. Out of that timeout, a five-second call on the inbound play turned the ball over to Ferris State and Saginaw Valley was forced to immediately foul with the Bulldogs inbounded the ball.
They capitalized on that, hitting two more free throws and putting the game out of reach at 86-82 as time expired.
Inside the Boxscore
- Ellison finished with a game and career-high 30 points, connecting on 8-of-16 tries and 6-of-10 shots from beyond the arc. He added five rebounds, four assists and three steals while being named the Meijer "Player of the Game."
- Belyeu added 21 points and a game-best eight boards. He added three assists, a steal and block as well.
- Delano Smith had 13 points with two boards, two assists and two steals.
- Innocent Nwoko added five rebounds.
Postgame Interview - Tommy Twardecki
The Cardinals travel to play at Davenport on Thursday (Jan. 16) for another league tilt. Tip-off will be at 7:30 p.m. versus the Panthers. You can follow all of the action live at svsucardinals.com.
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