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Grand Rapids, Mich. -- The Ferris State University men's and women's basketball teams will square off against rival Grand Valley State this season at Grand Rapids' Van Andel Arena in the first-ever "131 Showdown" presented by Amway.
Details for the January 29, 2011, doubleheader were announced
today (Oct. 20) during a press conference involving both schools at
Van Andel Arena.
Tipoff for the women's Great Lakes Intercollegiate Athletic Conference (GLIAC) tilt will be at 6 p.m. (ET) on Jan. 29 with the men's game to follow at 8 p.m. (ET).
FSU Athletics Director Perk Weisenburger, men's basketball head coach Bill Sall, women's basketball head coach Tracey Dorow and two senior student-athletes, Justin Keenan and Andrea Clancy, were all on hand for Wednesday's announcement along with representatives from GVSU. The mascots, "Brutus" The Bulldog and Louie The Laker, were also in attendance.
A portion of the proceeds from the "131 Showdown" will be donated to the Van Andel Institute as part of the Community for a Cure Purple Game.
"We were looking for an opportunity to get a Grand Valley State athletic event in downtown Grand Rapids and with an incredible venue in Van Andel Arena available, it seemed like a natural fit that we have West Michigan rivals Grand Valley State and Ferris State meet in the 131 Showdown," said GVSU Director of Athletics Tim Selgo.
"We are also extremely excited to have Amway and the Van Andel Institute join us in the presentation of the 131 Showdown. Amway and Van Andel are preeminent names in West Michigan and it shows their commitment to the West Michigan communities," added Selgo.
Amway is one of the world's largest direct selling companies. Founded in 1959 and headquartered in Ada, Amway offers the opportunity for people to have a business of their own based on retailing beauty, nutritional, wellness and home products.
"We're proud to join forces with two of the area's finest universities for this exciting community event," said David Madiol, manager at Amway. "This sponsorship exemplifies Amway's commitment to building relationships with the community, and our efforts to make a positive difference in West Michigan."
The Van Andel Institute has been extremely involved in the Community for a Cure Purple Games since the fall of 2009 and more than 30 college and high school sports teams have raised nearly $150,000 to support cancer research.
"It is great to see the wonderful support and media interest in this game," said Weisenburger. "We're excited for our student-athletes, our alumni and our fans along with the city of Grand Rapids to have two great Division II programs coming here to play."
The 131 Showdown will be the first time that Grand Valley State and Ferris State have met at a neutral site in a regular season matchup.
"It is pretty neat and this opportunity to come down here and play a rival is great," said Sall. "We're really looking forward to the event and expect it to be a great atmosphere."
The Grand Valley State men, who enter the season ranked #3 in The Sporting News, return all five starters and 12 letterwinners for the 2010-11 campaign. GVSU is coming off a 22-9 season in which it advanced to the NCAA DII Great Lakes Regional semifinals.
The Laker women, who return four starters and seven letterwinners, enter the season ranked #20 by the DII Bulletin. Fourth-year head coach Janel Burgess led her squad to an 18-10 mark during the 2009-10 season.
Ferris State senior center Justin Keenan (Grand Rapids, Mich./Ottawa Hills) is the DII Bulletin's preseason National Player of the Year and leads a group of four starters back from a team that finished 16-13 overall a year ago. Meanwhile, senior Andrea Clancy looks to lead the way for the Ferris State women after missing the 2009-10 campaign due to injury.
Tickets for the 131 Showdown can be purchased by calling 1-800-745-3000 or by going online at Ticketmaster.com. Lower bowl tickets are $15.00, while upper bowl tickets can be purchased for $10.00. Grand Valley State and Ferris State students can purchase student tickets with a student ID for $5.00 at either Grand Valley State or Ferris State.
Courtside seats are $50 per seat and must be purchased in pairs through the GVSU ticket office (616-331-3200).
For additional information on the 131 Showdown, please go to the official web site for the game at www.131showdown.com.
The Ferris State women's basketball team concluded the 2009-10 season with an 8-19 overall record. The Bulldogs were 7-15 in GLIAC action and won their final two regular-season contests.
Meanwhile, FSU concluded the 2009-10 men's basketball campaign with a 16-13 overall record and the Bulldogs placed tied for second (13-9) in GLIAC North Division play. Additionally, FSU made its 11th GLIAC Tournament appearance last campaign, which was the program's fifth berth in the last six years.
The Bulldog men's basketball squad is slated to tipoff the year
with a preseason exhibition matchup against Aquinas College on
Thursday, Oct. 28, in Grand Rapids, Mich. Ferris hosts
longtime West Michigan foe Calvin in its first official contest on
Saturday, Nov. 13, at FSU's Jim Wink arena in Big Rapids.
The Bulldog women's basketball squad will hit the court for the first time with an exhibition game at NCAA Division I Oakland on Friday, Nov. 5, in Rochester Hills, Mich. FSU then officially opens the 2010-11 season by hosting Edinboro (Pa.) on Saturday, Nov. 20, in a 1 p.m. (ET) non-league tilt at Wink Arena.