Big Rapids, MI: The Tigers lost their exhibition game to Ferris State University 91-78 tonight at Wink Arena. The Bulldogs, who played their first home contest of the year after an exhibition game at Michigan State on Sunday, battled back from a seven-point deficit only nine minutes into the game to grab a 40-36 halftime edge. Ferris State then outscored the Tigers by a 51-42 count over the final 20 minutes.
The game featured six lead changes and the score was tied five times. The Tigers cut the lead to four points, four times in the second half, but could not close the deal.
The Tigers trimmed FSU’s advantage to 69-65 with eight minutes to play before the Bulldogs answered on a 13-4 run over the next four minutes resulting from four consecutive Tiger turnovers.
FSU shot 46.2% (30-65) from the floor for the contest, and the Tigers shot 53.7% (29-54). The Tigers had 20 turnovers that led to a 29-15 advantage in points off turnovers.
Ferris State made 8 of 20 (40%) three’s and hit 23-of-34 (67.6%) free throws.
Grace had three players score in double figures. Ryan Krombeen had 19 points and 6 rebounds, Matt Kurtz 17 points and Randy Jefferson added 13 points.
The Tigers converted 60.9% (14-23) of their field goals in the second half to finish at 53.7% for the game. They were 63.6% (7-11) beyond the arc and 13-of-17 (76.5%) at the free throw stripe.
GBC had the upper hand in the paint with a 42-34 advantage in scoring. The Tigers had to play tonight’s game without starters Ryan Dame and John Oostema due to illness. “I was pretty pleased with our play tonight being so short-handed,” said Coach Gary Bailey. “We only dressed ten players tonight because of illness and injury and a JV game at Muskegon Community College. Ferris is a great team and they hung with Michigan State for thiry minutes last Sunday. I am confident about our team that as we adjust to some new teammates we will be a very good team.”
FSU officially opens the 2011-12 regular-season campaign with back-to-back games against NCAA Division I competition on consecutive nights as the Bulldogs visit the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor followed by a matchup with Central Michigan the next evening (Nov. 12) in Mt. Pleasant.