BIG RAPIDS -- The Cardinal Men's Basketball team kept to the road on Saturday afternoon, facing the defending national champions in Ferris State University. SVSU got double-figures in scoring from four starters and had had a late lead, but the Bulldogs came out ahead in the end and posted a 74-69 win at Wink Arena.
Saginaw Valley ran out to an 8-0 lead at the 16:56 point in the opening half after Darnell Hoskins Jr. hit his second layup early on in the contest.
After the Bulldogs took a brief lead, the Cardinals regained the lead with the score at 23-20 when Avery Lewis and Hoskins made layups as 5:00 was showing on the clock.
SVSU led 31-30 with 22 ticks left in the half after James Toohey tipped-in an offensive rebound. Ferris, however, responded with a triple as just two seconds remained and took a 33-31 advantage into the halftime break.
The Bulldogs built their lead out to 10 points with 15:12 to play as the score stood at 46-36 but Saginaw Valley worked back and led by a 56-54 score after scoring five straight points. That mini run was capped-off with a Fred John Jr. jumper with 7:28 to play.
With 2:41 left, Myles Belyeu hit a free throw to give the visitors a 66-64 lead. That was tied up by Ferris and the Bulldogs worked it out to a 70-66 lead with 34 seconds left.
Toohey connected on a three-pointer with 22 seconds left, drawing the score within a point at 70-69.
The Bulldogs were able to hit free throws down the stretch as the Cards were forced to foul and eventually closed-out for the 74-69 victory.
Inside the Boxscore
- John was named the Meijer "Player of the Game" after his 16 points and a team-high seven rebounds, adding three steals with a block and assist.
- Toohey went for a team-best 18 points and added four boards with a block.
- Hoskins and Belyeu eaach had 13 points, with Belyeu adding four rebounds and two steals. Hoskins added five boards, two assists, two steals and a block.
- Jack Roberts had a team-high seven rebounds for the Cardinals as well.
- Ferris State had 43.4% shooting from the floor while Saginaw Valley went for a 40.4% mark.
- The Cardinals had a 34-32 edge in rebounds and a 30-22 advantage in the paint.
The Cardinals return to action on Monday, Dec. 17 when they host Grace Christian in a non-conferenc tilt. Tip-off is set for 7:00 p.m. at O'Neill Arena.
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