Men's BB Game Notes: SVSU (GLIAC Tourney)

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Wednesday, March 2
Men's Basketball vs. Saginaw Valley State, 7 p.m.

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* The Game: The Ferris State men's basketball team will host Saginaw Valley State in a Great Lakes Intercollegiate Athletic Conference (GLIAC) Tournament quarterfinal game on Wednesday, March 2, with tipoff set for 7 p.m. (ET) inside Jim Wink Arena at Big Rapids, Mich.

* Ticket Info: Advance ticket sales for Wednesday's quarterfinal can be obtained by visiting the FSU Athletics Ticket Office located in the Ewigleben Sports Complex. Ticket prices for the league quarterfinal are $8 for adults or $2 for all students older than age five, including college students with identification. All seats are general admission and no regular-season passes of any type such as FSU Rebounders Club or all-sports passes will be accepted per league tournament regulations. The ticket office will offer expanded operating hours from 9 a.m. to 7 p.m. on both Monday and Tuesday.  They will open on Wednesday to sell tickets starting at 9 a.m. leading up to the quarterfinal game that evening with the doors to Wink Arena opening at 6 p.m. For additional information, please contact the FSU Athletics Ticket Office at (231) 591-2888.

* Media Coverage: Wednesday's game will be carried live by the Bulldog Sports Network and Sunny 97.3 FM with Scott Roman calling the play-by-play action and Sandy Gholston offering color commentary. Live audio will be streamed online in addition to a live pay-per-view video webcast. Links to follow all the action will be available at www.ferrisstatebulldogs.com (click on the "upcoming events" scoreboard tab or team schedule page).

* Follow On Twitter/Facebook: In addition to radio and internet coverage, Bulldog fans can follow Wednesday's game via Twitter & Facebook. To access the feed, please visit www.twitter.com/ferrisathletics or www.facebook.com/ferrisathletics to follow the tweet-by-tweet social media coverage with periodic scoring updates.

* The Teams: Top-seeded FSU enters Wednesday's matchup with a 20-6 overall record after winning the GLIAC North Division Championship with a 16-3 league record.  Meanwhile, SVSU is presently 13-13 overall and tied for fourth place in the division with a 9-10 conference mark. The Cardinals are seeded eighth in the field.

* Bulldog Rankings: Ferris State is listed 23rd in the National Association of Basketball Coaches (NABC) Division II Top 25 National Poll this week.  The Bulldogs also were ranked third in the NCAA Division II Midwest Regional Rankings prior to this past Saturday's (Feb. 26) 82-80 overtime loss to rival Grand Valley State.  The top eight teams at the end of the year earn bids into the NCAA-II Midwest Regional Tournament set for March 12-15 at a campus site to be determined.

* The Records: Ferris State (20-6, 16-3 GLIAC) has presently won 12 of its last 13 games to date this year and 14 of its last 16 overall.  The Bulldogs were 16-13 overall and reached the GLIAC Tourney semifinals. last year.
   
Saginaw Valley State (13-13, 9-10 GLIAC) holds a 13-13 overall record, but has won nine of its last 14 contests to date.  The Cardinals placed tied for fourth in the GLIAC North Division during regular-season play.

* The Coaches: Ferris State  – Bill Sall (Calvin, 1994), 9th season, 140-127 (.524) – (12-7 vs. SVSU).  Sall was a two-time NCAA Division III All-American at Calvin College from 1985-90 and previously held assistant coaching positions at Calvin (1992-95), Ferris State (1995-98) and Hillsdale (1998-02).  He served as FSU's interim coach for a brief portion of the 1995-96 season.
   
Saginaw Valley State – Frankie Smith, 4th season at SVSU. Smith took over prior to the 2007-08 after helping NCAA Division I Miami (Ohio) to three-straight postseason appearances as an assistant.

* FSU Tourney Notes: The Bulldog men, who will be making their 12th all-time tournament appearance, own a 8-13 mark in 11 previous trips to the annual event ....... FSU advanced to the GLIAC Tournament title game in 2005-06 before dropping an 80-58 decision in the final contest (3/3/06) at Grand Valley State ......... Ferris captured the 1997-98 league tourney title and will be making its sixth appearance in the last seven years, including a third-straight berth.

* The Tourney Notebook: The tournament remains on campus sites this season for the ninth year in a row. Prior to the 2002-03 season, the four previous tournaments were held at a neutral site location, with the final three taking place at the DeltaPlex in Grand Rapids, Mich ....... The winner of this season's GLIAC Tournament will receive the league's automatic berth into the NCAA-II Midwest Regional Tournament slated for March 12-15 at a campus site to be determined.

* The Tourney Field: The other quarterfinal round games include Lake Superior State (#7 seed) at Findlay (#2 seed), Michigan Tech (#6 seed) at Grand Valley State (#3 seed) along with Hillsdale (#5 seed) at Wayne State (#4 seed). The HC-WSU game will also take place Wednesdy at 7 p.m. (ET) with the other two matchups beginning at 6 p.m. (ET). The remaining teams will be reseeded after the quarterfinals and the semifinals and finals will be held Saturday and Sunday, March 5-6, at the site of the highest remaining seed. Ferris State is the top overall seed and would host the final four with a win over SVSU.

* Rematch On Tap: This year will mark the second-straight year the Bulldogs and Cardinals have met in the tournament quarterfinals as FSU pulled out a 65-59 win a year ago (3/2/10) in the first round contest at University Center, Mich.

* Third Meeting This Year: Wednesday's contest will mark the third meeting this year between FSU and SVSU. Ferris and Saginaw Valley State played twice this season during regular-season action with the Bulldogs pulling out close wins both times.  FSU beat SVSU 82-74 on the road (Jan. 8) before topping the Cardinals 70-68 at Wink Arena (Feb. 5).

* Postseason Home Game: FSU's matchup against SVSU will represent the Bulldogs' first postseason home game in five years as Ferris has not played at home after the regular-season since recording a 73-68 quarterfinal-round win over Northern Michigan five years ago (2/28/06).

* Key Tourney Notes: The Bulldogs had dropped two consecutive GLIAC Tourney quarterfinal games prior to last year's win over Saginaw Valley State as FSU fell on the road at rival Grand Valley State in the first round of both the 2007 and 2009 tournaments ...... FSU holds a 4-6 overall mark to date in GLIAC Tourney play under head coach Bill Sall ....... Ferris beat Northern Michigan in the quarterfinals at home in back-to-back seasons in 2005 and 2006 ...... Overall, the Bulldogs are 4-2 in GLIAC Tourney quarterfinal-round play since the league implemented the current eight-team format.

* Record Crowd For Finale: Ferris State established a new Wink Arena record crowd with 2,443 fans for this past Saturday's (Feb. 26) exciting 82-80 overtime home setback to rival Grand Valley State. It topped the previous mark of 2,430 fans who attended the Bulldogs' matchup with GVSU three years ago (2/23/08).  Four of the five largest crowds in the building's 12-year history have came during the rivalry matchup.

* FSU Drops Overtime Contest: For the second time this season, Ferris and GVSU went to overtime as the Lakers defeated FSU 82-80 on Saturday (Feb. 26) in the final regular-season game. The Lakers avenged an earlier 79-72 extra session setback to the Bulldogs in the "131 Showdown" played on Jan. 29 at Van Andel Arena before 5,863 fans in Grand Rapids. Ferris saw its 12-game winning streak snapped as GVSU's Breland Hogan banked in a shot as time expired in the extra session.  It was also FSU's first loss this year (12-1) at Wink Arena.

* Keenan Owns GLIAC Mark: FSU senior forward/center Justin Keenan (Grand Rapids/Ottawa Hills) officially became the GLIAC's all-time career scoring leader (based on league games) with a made free throw at the 14:54 mark of the first half against GVSU. The 6-7 All-American, who had 18 points against the Lakers, previously had tallied a game-high 19 points in FSU's 84-66 upset over then third-ranked Findlay (Feb. 19) to tie former Grand Valley State standout John Flynn atop the league's all-time scoring chart. Keenan wrapped up league regular-season play with an all-time best of 1,549 career points in conference games.

* 1000 Wins Celebration: Ferris held a special "1,000 Wins Celebration" in conjunction with Saturday's game against Grand Valley State and more than 40 former players were on hand to help the Bulldogs commemorate the impressive achievement.  The special event took place at halftime of the men's showdown with GVSU. The program's 1,000th victory came in a 70-68 league home win over Saginaw Valley State on Feb. 5.  

* Senior Day: FSU also held its annual "Senior Day" this past Saturday as the Bulldogs honored their four seniors prior to tipoff of the men's game.  The senior class includes the GLIAC's all-time career scoring leader in Justin Keenan in addition to a 1,000-point scorer in guard Darien Gay (Detroit/Henry Ford), the program's all-time blocked shots leader in forward Lou Williams (Muskegon Heights) and Matt DeHart (Greenville), who ranks among the school's all-time career leaders in both made three-point field goals and three-point field goal percentage.  All four have been starters for the Bulldogs this season as FSU captured the GLIAC North Championship.

* Double-Figure Mark: The Bulldogs' Justin Keenan reached double-figure scoring for the 100th time in his career in FSU's home win over Saginaw Valley State (Feb. 5).  A three-time team MVP, Keenan has reached double-figure scoring in 104 of 110 career outings. He's also tallied 10 points or more in 82 of his last 85 games.

* Preseason National Player of The Year: A returning consensus NCAA-II All-American, Ferris senior center Justin Keenan was tabbed as the Division II Bulletin Preseason National Player of the Year for the 2010-11 campaign. The two-time All-GLIAC First Team honoree was the 2009-10 GLIAC Player of the Year after leading the league in scoring for the second consecutive campaign a year ago.

* Looking At SVSU: Saginaw Valley State has claimed nine of its last 14 games overall to date. The Cardinals were 16-12 overall last year and 13-9 in the GLIAC. Junior guard Greg Foster paces the Cardinals in scoring (16.9 ppg.) for fourth-year head coach Frankie Smith's club. SVSU is coming off a 76-61 win over Northern Michigan (Feb. 26).

* Series Info vs. SVSU: Ferris maintains a 49-33 lead heading into Wednesday's 83rd series meeting with SVSU. The Bulldogs have won 13 of the last 20 series' encounters overall and topped the Cardinals 82-74 earlier this year (Jan. 8) in University Center before beating FSU 70-68 in Big Rapids (Feb. 5). Last year, SVSU pulled out an 86-72 triumph at Big Rapids (1/9/10) before beating the Bulldogs 68-66 in University Center (2/18/10). However, FSU came back to post a 65-59 win in the GLIAC Tourney Quarterfinals (3/2/10) at SVSU. Ferris head coach Bill Sall owns a current 11-2 career coaching mark against SVSU.

* Road Win Last Year: Ferris had lost four-straight games to Sagainw Valley State at SVSU's O'Neill Arena prior to last year's 65-59 quarterfinal-round win over the Cardinals (3/2/10).  No current Bulldog player had ever beat SVSU in University Center until that game, but FSU has now won two-straight in the facility.

* Career vs SVSU: Ferris State's Justin Keenan has averaged 16.4 points and 8.2 rebounds in nine previous career meetings against the Cardinals .... Meanwhile, senior guard Darien Gay has recorded 11.8 points per contest in nine career games versus SVSU ..... Matt DeHart averaged 12.5 points in two games against SVSU this season.

* To The Stripe: Justin Keenan's currently made 202 of 290 free throws this year and it represents the fourth consecutive year he's led the league in both makes and attempts (based on all games).  Keenan has currently has more than 100 made free throws than any other player in the league and his 290 attempts are nearly 150 more than anyone else for the year.

* Among The Leaders: FSU's Justin Keenan currently ranks among the nation's top 17 players this year in both scoring and rebounding.  He is the only player in Division II to rank among the top 17 in both categories to date this season.

* Interesting Note: Ferris State's Justin Keenan currently leads the GLIAC this year in double-double performances (13) and has a league-high three games of 30 or more points this year.  He's also scored 20 or more points in a conference-high 15 games and leads the league with 14 games of 10 or more rebounds.

* Career Day For Gay: Ferris State's Darien Gay tallied a personal career-high 31 points and added five assists in Saturday's loss to rival Grand Valley State.  He also scored his 1,200th career point in FSU's setback at Wink Arena.

* Coming Up Big: Ferris sophomore forward Daniel Sutherlin (Detroit/Renaissance) notched a personal career-high tying eight rebounds against GVSU.  The 6-5 Sutherlin also scored 12 points, giving him the first back-to-back double figure scoring games of his career after he also netted 19 points against Findlay (Feb. 19).

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