Ferris State falls to No. 18 Michigan 59-33
Ferris State is being tested early.
For the Division II Bulldogs, the start of this season feels an
awful lot like one of those holiday tournaments the nation’s top
teams are always playing in.
Ferris State lost its season opener to No. 18 Michigan 59-33 on
Friday night, and there will be no time to rest or dwell on
anything that went wrong. The Bulldogs must immediately turn around
and play at Central Michigan on Saturday night.
”It’s no different than playing in a tournament – these kids
are 20-21 years old, and they can handle it,” coach Bill Sall
said. ”They’ve got a chance to play two D-I teams, and they love
Stu Douglass scored 14 points after making a surprise start at
point guard for Michigan, and the Wolverines overcame some early
shooting struggles to beat Ferris State.
The Wolverines led only 22-21 early in the second half before
going on a 13-2 run to open up a more comfortable margin. They
later went on a 19-0 run that made it 57-32.
”Michigan’s length really hurt us,” Sall said. ”They were
really able to take away every shot we wanted. We were within six
with something like eight minutes left, but they picked up their
defense and took us out of the game.”
Tim Hardaway Jr. scored 12 points for Michigan, and Evan
Smotrycz added 14.
Daniel Sutherlin scored 11 points for the Bulldogs.
Michigan freshman Trey Burke began the game on the bench after
coach John Beilein had said the day before he would start at point
guard. Douglass got the start instead, and Burke scored three
Beilein said Burke was late for a walkthrough earlier in the
The Wolverines finished last season strong, making the NCAA
tournament and routing Tennessee in their first game there. They
lost point guard Darius Morris, who left after his sophomore season
and was a second-round pick in the NBA draft, but every other key
player is back.
Expectations are pretty high in Ann Arbor, but Michigan looked
ordinary for most of its opener. The Wolverines went 4 of 17 from
3-point range in the first half and finished 9 of 28 for the
Michigan led 22-16 at halftime.
With the lead cut to one, Hardaway made a 3-pointer, and
Smotrycz followed with one of his own. A driving three-point play
by Douglass made it 33-23.
Ferris State was able to hang around a little longer, but with
the score 38-32 Smotrycz made another 3-pointer to start Michigan’s
run of 19 unanswered points that put the game out of reach.
It was Michigan’s first regular-season game at the renovated
Crisler Arena, which has new seats and a new high-definition
Beilein left starters on the floor until the final minutes after
the Wolverines struggled to put the game away. Michigan hosts
Towson and Western Illinois next week before heading to Hawaii to
face Memphis in the Maui Invitational.
Beilein had said Thursday that Burke would be the starter at
point guard, and that he looked forward to bringing Douglass off
the bench so the senior could focus more on shooting. But Douglass
ended up in the starting lineup.
Burke entered the game about midway through the first half. He
pulled up and made a nice floater almost immediately after coming
Michigan shot only 28 percent in the first half and was
outrebounded 25-21 before coming out in the second half and turning
the game into a rout.
”I think it’s fair to say that our defense is a little ahead of
our offense right now,” Beilein said.