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

the opportunity.”

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

points.

Beilein said Burke was late for a walkthrough earlier in the

day.

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

game.

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

scoreboard.

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

in.

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.