THE TURNING POINT: Ferris State led Ashland 67-64 inside of six minutes to go, then the Bulldogs' 9-3 spurt sealed the game.
STAT OF THE GAME: Senior forward Torin Wetzel posted career highs in both points (17) and rebounds (10) in 28 minutes off the bench.
Playing close Great Lakes Intercollegiate Athletic Conference road games is nothing new for Ashland University's men's basketball team.
Ferris State, however, was successful on Saturday (Dec. 17) night in snapping the Eagles' streak of close wins away from Ashland, winning 82-77. The Bulldogs are 7-3 overall and 3-2 in the GLIAC, while the Eagles are 6-4, 2-3.
Coming into Saturday, Ashland had won five straight road games decided by six points or less.
The Eagles were led by strong performances off the bench from sophomore guard Nick Bapst and senior forward Torin Wetzel. Bapst scored a career-high 21 points on 8-of-11 shooting from the field, while Wetzel set career bests in both points (17) and rebounds (10), while hitting 5-of-7 from 3-point range and adding two blocks.
Senior guard Adrian Cook added 15 points, six rebounds and six assists, as the Eagles had 20 assists, their second-best total of 2016-17.
Ashland's defense allowed just 34.6-percent shooting to Ferris State, but yielded 10 3-pointers. The Bulldogs had a 46-41 rebounding advantage, and forced 17 AU turnovers.
The Eagles were in a 13-2 hole, then began digging out. Ashland trailed 22-16 with eight minutes left following a Wetzel 3-pointer, then 24-23 at the six-minute mark on an old-fashioned 3-point play by Bapst.
Ashland tied the game at 26 on a Bapst free throw with 3:23 left until the break, and very much was in the game down 36-35 at the half.
The Eagles briefly led 39-38 early in the second half on a Cook layup, then again at 44-43 on a triple by sophomore forward Phil Frentsos, and once more at 46-45 on a Frentsos dunk. Back-to-back Bapst layups, the second the start of a 3-point play, gave AU the lead once again at 54-52.
The game remained tight heading to the middle of the second half, then Ferris State started to pull away. The Bulldogs led 62-57, then moved their lead to 76-67 with 2:39 to go.
Saturday's game featured 12 lead changes and four ties.
UP NEXT: The last game before the Christmas break on Monday (Dec. 19) at 7 p.m. at Grand Valley State (7-5, 3-2).