BIG RAPIDS, Mich. – Preseason Player of the Year Justin Keenan proved to be too much to handle for the Northern Michigan men’s basketball team. Keenan scored 31 points for Ferris State in Saturday’s (Jan. 22), 63-70, defeat to the Bulldogs at Wink Arena.
NMU (6-11, 1-9 GLIAC) made more field goals and pulled down more rebounds than the Bulldogs but lost its sixth game in a row, turning the ball over 19 times. Seven of NMU’s losses have been by 10 points or less.
Ferris went on a 7-0 lead early in the second half to expand its six-point halftime lead to 13. NMU responded late, going on an 18-9 run to pull within five with 1:09 to go, but it was too little too late as NMU lost by seven.
Justin Keenan shot 8-for-13 from the field and made 15 free throws with 10 rebounds to lead Ferris State (13-5, 9-2 GLIAC) to its fifth straight victory. Lou Williams scored 13 and Donte Molden had 10 for the Bulldogs. Darien Gay, who scored 28 in the first meeting, only scored two points on 1-of-11 shooting.
DeAndre Taylor led the ‘Cats in scoring with 14. Mylan Murphy and Martin Gross put in 11 each. Jared Benson only saw 12 minutes of action because of foul trouble. The team leader is points only scored five on 2-for-3 shooting.
NMU shot 42 percent from the field but only made 3-of-12 3-pointers. The ‘Cats made 16 of their 20 free throws. NMU outrebounded the Bulldogs, 28-21.
Ferris scored 19 second chance points off of 17 offensive rebounds. The Bulldogs shot 36 percent and made 23-of-36 free throws.
Ferris held a six-point half time lead (32-38). Keenan scored 14 points in the first half. NMU was led by Gross and Taylor with six as the ‘Cats shot 46 percent in the opening frame.
The Wildcats will be back in action next weekend when they host Hillsdale and Northwood on Thursday (Jan. 27) and Saturday (Jan. 29) from the Berry Events Center.
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