Cullen Maksimowski, LSSULakers.com
BIG RAPIDS, Mich.—The Lake Superior State men's basketball team saw its postseason and 2017-18 campaign come to an end Sunday evening in the NCAA Midwest Regional Semifinals.
The No.4-seeded Lakers fell to No.1 Ferris State, 94-71, in Jim Wink Arena and conclude their season with a 25-8 record overall. The Bulldogs advance to a Sweet 16 Regional Final matchup with No.3 Findlay on Tuesday.
Lake State struggled to match the torrid pace set by Ferris in the first half allowing the Bulldogs to open the game on a 13-3 run. LSSU trailed 45-31 heading into the break shooting just 25 percent from the floor.
The Lakers made several attempts to close the gap in the second half but too many second-chance buckets allowed the Bulldogs to pull away with the win.
"Obviously disappointing, certainly didn't play the game we were anticipating to play," said Lake Superior coach Steve Hettinga. "Have to give a lot of credit Ferris. They played an excellent game and proved why they're one of the best teams in the country."
For the game, Lake Superior shot 31.3 percent from the field and 22.2 percent from behind the arc. Ferris shot 47.3 and 35.7 percent.
LSSU was outrebounded, 52-36, in the loss. Forced turnovers were 12-7 in favor of the Lakers.
Sophomore forward Ke'Montrece Collins led Lake State offensively with 19 points off the bench and fell one rebound shy of a double-double with a team-high nine boards.
Malek Adams finished with 18 points and Carson Manger posted 11 points while going 2-of-2 from three-point range.
Zach Hankins set the tone for the Bulldogs with a team-leading 18 points and 18 rebounds. Jaylin McFadden finished with 16 points.
With the loss, the LSSU senior class of Akaemji Williams, Michael Nicholson, Josh Goldschmidt and Lance Monroe officially conclude their time in the blue and gold.
"I love my guys," Hettinga said. "It was one of the hardest (end of season) locker rooms I've had. We have such a great group of guys. It's not even about basketball I'm going to have lifelong friend from that group of four seniors. What (our seniors) have done for this program is amazing.
"We're no longer a good school in our conference, we're a team that can be recognized as a national contender and they've had a big role in that."