FSU Game Notes: GLIAC Semifinals/Finals

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Saturday, March 5
GLIAC Tournament Semifinal
Men's Basketball vs. Michigan Tech, 1 p.m.

Live On Sunny 97.3 FM (Scott Roman & Sandy Gholston)
Live Bulldog Sports Network Audio Broadcast
Live America One Video Webcast
Live Internet Statistics
Live Facebook Scoring Updates
Live Twitter Scoring Updates

* The Game: The Ferris State men's basketball team has advanced to the 2011 Great Lakes Intercollegiate Athletic Conference (GLIAC) Tournament Semifinals and will face Michigan Tech on Saturday, March 5, with tipoff set for 1 p.m. (ET) at Jim Wink Arena in Big Rapids. The winner advances into Sunday's (March 6) league tournament title game at 2 p.m. (ET).  FSU is the top overall seed and host for the league event.

* Ticket Info: Advance ticket sales for Saturday's semifinals can be obtained by visiting the FSU Athletics Ticket Office located in the Ewigleben Sports Complex. Ticket prices per session 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 Thursday and Friday.  They will open on Saturday to sell tickets starting at 11 a.m. leading up to the game with the doors to Wink Arena opening at 12 p.m. Sunday ticket sales will start at 12 p.m. (ET) and the doors will open at 1 p.m. (ET). For additional information, please contact the FSU Athletics Ticket Office at (231) 591-2888.

* Media Coverage: Saturday's game and Sunday's title contest (if necessary) 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 all FSU games 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.

* Tourney Notes: The Bulldogs are the tourney's top seed and the Huskies fourth entering the semifinal round ........ Second-seeded Findlay will meet third-seeded Wayne State in the second semifinal at 3 p.m. (ET) with the two winners squaring off Sunday (March 6) in the 2 p.m. (ET) title contest ......The winner of the GLIAC Tournament receives an automatic bid into the NCAA-II Midwest Regional set for March 12-15.  The tourney selections will be announced late Sunday night at 10 p.m. (ET) on www.ncaa.com. Note: More information on possible championship game opponents can be found later in this release.

* The Records: Ferris State (21-6, 16-3 GLIAC) has presently won 13 of its last 14 games to date this year and 15 of its last 17 overall.  The Bulldogs were 16-13 overall and reached the GLIAC Tourney semifinals. last year.

Michigan Tech (17-10, 11-8 GLIAC) holds a 17-10 overall record and placed third in the GLIAC North Division with an 11-8 league mark.  MTU was seeded sixth in the quarterfinals before upsetting Grand Valley State.

* The Coaches: Ferris State  – Bill Sall (Calvin, 1994), 9th season, 141-127 (.526) – (9-9 vs. MTU).  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.
   
Michigan Tech – Kevin Luke, 17th season at MTU. Luke has led the Huskies to four GLIAC titles, five NCAA Division II Tournament berths and his teams have won an average of nearly 19 games per season. He was the Basketball Times National Coach of the Year in 2002-03.

* FSU Serving As Host: Ferris State earned the league's top overall seed and the right to host the GLIAC Tournament Semifinals/Finals for only the second time in school history and the first time since the 1994-95 season.  Both Ferris and Findlay posted identical 16-3 league regular-season marks in winning their respective divisions, but FSU emerged as the number one seed in the league's complex tiebreaker formula.

* FSU Tourney Notebook: The Bulldog men, who are making their 12th all-time tournament appearance, own a 9-13 mark in the annual event ....... FSU last 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 is making its sixth appearance in the last seven years, including a third-straight berth ...... This year marks the second-straight year the Bulldogs have reached the semifinals ..... Ferris holds a 5-5 mark to date in GLIAC Tourney action under head coach Bill Sall ..... FSU is 3-5 all-time in league tourney semifinal games.

* Quarterfinal Results: Top-seeded Ferris State advanced to the semifinals with a convincing 80-61 home win over eighth-seeded Saginaw Valley State in the quarterfinals on Wednesday (March 2) evening.  Meanwhile, sixth-seeded MTU upset third-seeded Grand Valley State 74-72 on the road.  In the other two quarterfinals, second-seeded Findlay beat number seven seed Lake Superior State 73-56 at home and fourth-seeded Wayne State topped number five Hillsdale by a 79-62 score at home.  The teams were reseeded after the quarterfinals.

* Bulldog Rankings: Ferris State is currently ranked 23rd in the National Association of Basketball Coaches (NABC) Division II Top 25 Poll along with sixth in the NCAA-II Midwest Regional Rankings.

* Third Meeting This Year: Saturday's contest will mark the third meeting this year between FSU and MTU. Ferris and Michigan Tech played twice this season during regular-season action with the home team winning both times.  MTU fought back from a 15-point first half deficit to beat FSU by a 74-71 score in Houghton (Dec. 18) before the Bulldogs posted a 70-60 win in Big Rapids (Jan. 20).

* Postseason Home Game: FSU's quarterfinal matchup against SVSU on Wednesday represented the Bulldogs' first postseason home game in five years as Ferris had 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).

* Quarterfinal Notes: Ferris has now beat Saginaw Valley State in the quarterfinals each of the last two seasons following last year's win at SVSU ...... Ferris also beat Northern Michigan in the quarterfinals at home in back-to-back seasons in 2005 and 2006 to reach the semifinals both years under Bill Sall ...... Overall, the Bulldogs improved to 5-2 in GLIAC Tourney quarterfinal-round play since the league implemented the current eight-team format ...... The GLIAC 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.

* Record Crowd For Finale: Ferris State established a new Wink Arena record crowd with 2,443 fans for last 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.

* Looking At MTU: Michigan Tech is currently 17-10 overall after Wednesday's quarterfinal-round win at Grand Valley State and posted a fourth-place (11-8) finish in the GLIAC North Division.  The Huskies recorded a 9-18 record a season ago and posted a 8-14 mark in the GLIAC.  They were picked to finish fifth in the GLIAC North this season under 17th-year head coach Kevin Luke.  Currently, they've won their last six outings to date this year after the 74-72 quarterfinal triumph at GVSU. Sophomore forward Ali Haidar is scoring a team-high 15.7 points per game to date.

* Series Info vs. MTU: The Bulldogs trail MTU 54-52 all-time although FSU has won nine of the last 15 games heading into Saturday's 107th series' meeting. FSU holds a 9-9 all-time mark versus MTU under Bill Sall and split two meetings with the Huskies during the 2009-10 season. FSU posted an initial 67-63 league home win over MTU (1/30/10) in Big Rapids before falling by a 70-67 count (2/13/10) in Houghton. Earlier this year (Dec. 18), the Bulldogs led MTU by 15 points in the first half before falling 74-71 in Houghton.  Ferris then rebounded for a 70-60 triumph in the second matchup at Jim Wink Arena (Jan. 20).

* Important Notes: FSU's Justin Keenan had a game-high 28 points and 10 rebounds against the Huskies in the most recent game earlier this season at Wink Arena (Jan. 20) ...... Ferris' Matt DeHart knocked down five three-pointers and totaled 17 points in this year's game at Big Rapids ....... Keenan also had 26 points and 10 rebounds against the Huskies in Houghton (Dec. 18).

* To The Stripe: Justin Keenan's currently made 205 of 294 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 294 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 (14) 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 16 games and leads the league with 15 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 last 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 10 rebounds against SVSU on Wednesday.  The 6-5 Sutherlin previously scored 12 points against Grand Valley State, giving him the first back-to-back double figure scoring games of his career after he also netted 19 points against Findlay (Feb. 19).

* Regional Notebook: Ferris dropped from third in the NCAA-II Midwest Regional Rankings to sixth when this week's listing came out prior to Wednesday's quarterfinal win.  FSU had jumped from ninth to third the week prior after wins over Wayne State and Findlay before falling in the regular-season finale at home to Grand Valley State.

* Series Records In The GLIAC Tourney: Ferris is 1-1 all-time versus Michigan Tech in GLIAC Tournament action as the Bulldogs dropped a 88-84 game in consolation play during the 1994-95 season before upsetting the top-seeded Huskies 71-62 in the GLIAC Championship game at Houghton in 1997-98 ...... Ferris State holds an all-time mark of 1-1 against Findlay in GLIAC Tournament play as FSU recorded a 64-62 triumph in the 2005-06 semifinals at Grand Valley State before dropping a  82-69 contest in last year's semifinals (3/5/10) at UF's Croy Gymnasium ............... The Bulldogs are presently 0-2 all-time against Wayne State in GLIAC Tournament play with a 72-67 loss in 1992-93 at Marquette, Mich., in addition to a 68-63 setback in 2004-05 at Findlay, Ohio.

* Interesting Game Note: Michigan Tech was the tournament's number one overall seed when it was upset by sixth-seeded Ferris State in the 1997-98 GLIAC Tournament Championship game at home inside the Student Development Complex Gym at Houghton.  Ironically, the roles are reversed this year as FSU is the tournament's number one overall seed and hosting the semifinals/finals with MTU opening the tournament as the sixth seed entering its quarterfinal game against Grand Valley State.  The 1997-98 victory lifted Ferris State to its only league tournament crown.  FSU head coach Bill Sall was an assistant coach for the Bulldogs during that title run.

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