Courtesy: Michigan Tech University Athletics

HOUGHTON, Mich. – For the second straight day, the Huskies had a chance on the last possession but came up short, 56-54 to Ferris State in men’s basketball Saturday afternoon at SDC Gymnasium. The Bulldogs limited their turnovers to 10 and the Huskies struggled from the free throw line as they lost two straight games for the first time this season.

“We are clearly disappointed this weekend,” said head coach Kevin Luke. “There is no doubt Ferris State deserves credit but I also think we did not take care of the basketball well enough and we let them rebound at will. We played a little bit better today, but I felt missed free throws were ultimately what cost us the game.”

Tech trailed Ferris State 31-30 at halftime. Adam Hobson opened MTU’s scoring with an open 3-pointer to make the score 12-8. Both teams were responsible with the basketball and turnovers narrowly favored FSU 4-2 after 20 minutes. The Huskies made it into the double bonus with just under four minutes remaining before the break but were unable to take advantage, making just 5 of 10 free throws.

Michigan Tech appeared poised to seize momentum in the second half after Eric Carl and Owen White knocked down 3-pointers on back-to-back possessions out of the gate, but the Bulldogs regrouped and re-took the advantage 50-42. Down by five with one minute, four seconds left, Dawson Bilski swished a 3-pointer to bring the Huskies to a 56-54 margin.

Following a timeout, Reng Deng missed a floater in the lane for Ferris State but Carter Johnston failed to muster a 3-point basket on the opposite end. The Huskies kept the basketball on a scramble for the rebound with 4.1 seconds left and in-bounded to Bilski on the sideline with two defenders in his face. Bilski attempted a shot through traffic, but Vejas Grazulis made the block to end the game.

Walt Kelser led all players with 21 points (8-for-18) and shot 1-for-4 from long range. Ferris state out-rebounded Michigan Tech 37-28.

“We did take better care of the basketball today versus yesterday but overall, we just aren’t shooting well,” Luke said. “We held our opponents 60 points or less both days, which should win us a lot of games, but we just cannot score in the fifties, especially in our own gym and expect to win. That’s the bottom line.”

Trent Bell collected 17 points (7-for-14) for MTU and had four rebounds. Owen White posted 16 points, eight rebounds and Adam Hobson was efficient with 10 points (4-for-6), five rebounds, and a pair of made 3-pointers. The Huskies shot 19-for-48 overall (39.6-percent), including 7-for-27 (25.9-percent) from beyond the arc. Tech made just 9 of 19 free throw attempts (47.4-percent).

Ferris State finished 23-for-50 (46-percent) and 2 of 9 (22.2-percent) from downtown. The Bulldogs cashed in on 8 of 12 free throws. Grazulis made an impact with 10 points, two blocks, and four rebounds. Neither team led by double-figures and Ferris State led by a game high eight at 7:58 of the second half. Ferris State scored 36 points in the paint compared to 24 for Tech.

Michigan Tech (6-3, 6-3 GLIAC) finished its torrid stretch of five games in eight days Saturday. They will return to action Friday, February 5 for the first of two contests against Saginaw Valley State at SDC Gymnasium. Ferris State (6-6, 5-4 GLIAC) hosts Grand Valley State next weekend for a pair of games.