Ferris State heats up, drop Dragons

BIG RAPIDS, Mich. –Tiffin was able to keep things close in the first half, but then Ferris State got hot.

The No. 5 Bulldogs shot nearly 70 percent from the floor in the second half, had four players score in double figures, and cruised past the Dragons 99-83 in the Great Lakes Intercollegiate Athletic Conference opener for both teams.

The Bulldogs moved to 9-0. Tiffin, which slipped to 2-4, trailed just 38-33 at the break.

“The first half, I think we played right with them,” Dragons coach Jerry Buccilla said. “We were down five points at half, but it just as easy could have been us up at half.”

But in the second half, Buccilla said, the Bulldogs “caught fire.”

“It was a little bit of them making an adjustment and really pushing the ball hard in transition,” Buccilla said. “We played well offensively … work hard, 20, 25 seconds to get a great look and make a great shot, they push the ball up the court, two to three passes, and had a couple guys who kind of caught fire from the 3, especially Noah King.”

King didn’t shoot any free throws Thursday night. He had one rebound, no blocks and no steals.

But he shot the lights out, making 6 of 10 3-point shots and finishing with a game-high 20 points.

Drew Cushinberry was a catalyst for the Bulldogs. He finished with 18 points and 12 assists, while Peter Firlik had 16 points and Markese Mayfield 10.

In addition, Ferris State held a 27-8 lead in bench points. The Dragons had all five of their starters score in double figures, but no other Dragon scored more than four points.

“We talked about that quite a bit, just the last 20 minutes as a coaching staff,” Buccilla said, “about, we need to get some more production off the bench, and what kind of adjustments do we need to make as coaches to make that happen. So we’re talking about that, but our starting five, they played pretty well together, so they got most of the minutes.”

That was understandable. Austin Adams led the Dragons with 18 points and nine rebounds, and Justin Miller had 16 points. Alex Waldon added 15 points and five assists and Shane Waldon had 14 points. Austin Schaub had 12 points and five assists.

The Dragons lost despite holding the Bulldogs’ star, Zach Hankins, to eight points. But Hankins blocked six shots.

“We had a great defensive gameplan against Zach, and I thought we executed that well,” Buccilla said. “And I thought we executed that well, made his night tough. But he still made a difference with his blocks defensively.”

Bulldogs race past Dragons in second half

BIG RAPIDS, Mich. — The first half went well for Tiffin University.

The second half did not.

After outscoring Ferris State in each of the first two quarters and holding a 37-32 lead at the break, Tiffin was buried by the Bulldogs.

Ferris State doubled up Tiffin 50-25 after the break, and came away with an 82-62 win in the Great Lakes Intercollegiate Athletic Conference opener for both squads.

Kelsey Wyman came off the bench to lead the Bulldogs with 19 points. She also had six rebounds and two steals in 25 minutes. Another Ferris State reserve, Adrienne Anderson, scored 10. The Bulldogs’ bench outscored TU’s bench 37-24.

Rachel McInerney added 15 points for the Bulldogs, who improved to 6-1.

The Dragons (2-4) were paced by Allie Miller’s 14 points and eight boards. Ali Schirmer added 13 points.