February 20, 2012

Final Regular-Season Games For Bulldog Men

Wednesday, Feb. 22
Women's & Men's Basketball vs. Hillsdale, 6/8 p.m.
Live Radio On Sunny 97.3 FM (Pregame @ 5:30 p.m.)
    Live Bulldog Sports Network Audio Broadcast
    Live Bulldog Sports Network PPV Video Webcast
    Live Internet Statistics
    Live Facebook Scoring Updates
    Live Twitter Scoring Updates

Saturday, Feb. 25
Women's & Men's Basketball at Grand Valley State, 6/8 p.m.
No Local Radio Coverage - Live On Internet Only (Pregame @ 5:30 p.m.)
    Live Bulldog Sports Network Audio Broadcast
    Live GVSU Video Webcast
    Live Internet Statistics
    Live Facebook Scoring Updates
    Live Twitter Scoring Updates

CLICK HERE FOR COMPLETE GAME NOTES (PDF)

* The Games:
The Ferris State University men's basketball team plays its final two Great Lakes Intercollegiate Athletic Conference (GLIAC) games this week.  FSU hosts South Division leader Hillsdale at Jim Wink Arena in its regular-season home finale this Wednesday (Feb. 22) night at 8 p.m. (ET) before visiting archrival Grand Valley State for the final regular-season game on Saturday (Feb. 25) also at 8 p.m. (ET) in Allendale.

* Home Ticket Info: Ferris State home basketball tickets are sold on gameday at Wink Arena and are $7 for adults or $5 for FSU faculty/staff, senior (ages 65+) and students K-12.  Current FSU students are admitted free by showing a valid student ID card.  For more ticket info, please call the FSU Athletics Ticket Office at (231) 591-2888 or visit the official FSU website at www.FerrisStateBulldogs.com.

* Media Coverage: Both games will be carried live by the Bulldog Sports Network with Rob Bentley calling the play-by-play action and Sandy Gholston offering color commentary.  They will be accessible online at www.FerrisStateBulldogs.com along with a live pay-per-view video webcast and live internet statistics.  Thursday's game will be carried live on Sunny 97.3 FM with Saturday's broadcast on the internet only due to coverage of FSU Hockey.  Visit the FSU Athletics website at www.FerrisStateBulldogs.com for a complete listing of links.

* Follow On Twitter/Facebook: In addition to internet coverage, Bulldog fans can also follow FSU games this year via Twitter and Facebook with updates. Please visit www.facebook.com/ferrisathletics or www.twitter.com/ferrisathletics to follow the periodic posts and tweet-by-tweet coverage with scoring updates.

* Last Season: Ferris State concluded the 2010-11 season by reaching the NCAA Division II Sweet Sixteen and the Midwest Regional Championship Game in Louisville, Ky.  The Bulldogs also captured the GLIAC North Division Championship and hosted the GLIAC Tournament Semifinals/Finals a year ago while finishing with a 24-8 overall record.  FSU must replace four key starters this campaign from a team that fell to eventual D2 national champion Bellarmine in the regional finals.

* Two Close Games: FSU suffered a pair of close GLIAC losses on the road in hostile environments last week. The Bulldogs dropped a heart-breaking 72-69 overtime decision at Wayne State on Thursday (Feb. 16) before falling on the road at Findlay 74-69 on Saturday (Feb. 18).  FSU trailed Wayne State by 13 points in the second half before coming back and forcing the extra session.  The Bulldogs then jumped out to a 41-33 halftime advantage against the Oilers on Saturday before a near sellout crowd.  However, Findlay held FSU scoreless over a big stretch of the final 10 minutes of the second half and knocked down some crucial free throws down the wire to pull out the win.

* The Records: Ferris State (15-9, 12-5 GLIAC) has won 15 of its last 21 outings this year to date.  FSU won 16 of its final 19 games a year ago, including 18 of its last 22 overall en route to a 24-8 overall mark.  The Bulldogs won the GLIAC North Division Championship with a 16-3 record and served as the host for the GLIAC Tournament Semifinals & Finals.  FSU was 1-2 in exhibition play this season.
   
Hillsdale (21-4, 15-3 GLIAC) has claimed the GLIAC South Division crown and is 21-4 overall and 15-3 in league play heading into its regular-season finale versus FSU.  The Chargers have lost two of their last five contests overall.
   
Grand Valley State (14-11, 10-8 GLIAC) heads into its last regular-season game against the Bulldogs at 14-11 overall and 10-8 in league action.  The Lakers have won four of their last six outings to date this year.

* The Coaches: Ferris State – Bill Sall (Calvin, 1994), 10th season, 161-138 (.538) – (6-7 vs. HC, 9-14 vs. GVSU).  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.
   
Hillsdale – John Tharp, (Beloit, 1991), 5th season at HC, 18th year overall. Tharp came to Hillsdale after a 13-year run at Division III Lawrence University where he led the team to a NCAA-III Elite Eight berth and number one national ranking.
   
Grand Valley State – Ric Wesley, (Central Michigan, 1980), 7th season. Wesley spent five years as associate head coach at Southwest Missouri State before taking over at GVSU. He also spent time as a NCAA-I assistant at Lamar and Iowa State. Wesley's directed
GVSU to five national tourney bids, two Elite Eight showings and four league titles in his tenure.

* GLIAC Race: The defending GLIAC North Division Champion Bulldogs (12-5 GLIAC) are currently tied with Northwood atop the division heading into the final week.  Michigan Tech is one game back while Grand Valley State sits fourth (10-8) in the division. Hillsdale leads the South Division with a 15-3 GLIAC record while both Findlay and Wayne State are currently tied for second place (13-5).

* Final Home Game: The Bulldogs' final regular-season home game is Wednesday versus Hillsdale at Jim Wink Arena.  Tipoff is set for 8 p.m. (ET) and FSU will honor four seniors prior to their final regular-season home contests.  They include Dontae Molden, Jerrell Sanders, Jim Boylan and Spencer Sellner.  All four were members of last year's GLIAC Championship squad.  The senior night ceremony will take place between games.

* The GLIAC Tourney: The Bulldogs have clinched a berth in the 2012 GLIAC Tournament.  The quarterfinals will be played on Wednesday, Feb. 29, at four campus locations.  The top four seeds regardless of division will host opening-round games with the official pairings released by the league office at the conclusion of regular-season play.  The top remaining seed will host the semifinals/finals on March 3-4.

* Series History vs. HC: Ferris holds a 61-43 all-time series' mark going into Wednesday's 105th series' meeting with Hillsdale, but has lost six of the last seven meetings. The Bulldogs had won five-straight series' games prior to the current stretch. FSU is 6-10 in the last 16 series' encounters versus HC, including a 83-76 setback in last year's only game between the two teams at Jesse Philips Arena (12/7/10).  They split two games in 2009-10 with FSU winning 78-67 at Hillsdale (12/12/09) along with a 96-85 setback in Big Rapids (2/4/10).

* Series History vs. GVSU: Ferris holds a 50-47 advantage heading into Saturday's 98th meeting with GVSU. Ferris posted a 79-72 overtime triumph against GVSU in the "131 Showdown" last year (1/29/11) before a crowd of 5,863 fans at Van Andel Arena in Grand Rapids. However, the Lakers came back to record a thrilling 82-80 win over FSU in the regular-season finale (2/26/11) played at Jim Wink Arena. Earlier this season (1/28/11), the Bulldogs topped the Lakers 65-57 in Big Rapids.  Overall, the two West Michigan rivals have split the last eight matchups.

* Great Campaign: FSU's 24-8 overall men's hoops mark last year was the program's best since posting a 24-7 record and also reaching the regional final in 2004-05.  Overall, the 24 wins recorded by the Bulldogs was tied for the third-highest total in school history and FSU's 16 league regular-season victories was best in the conference and tied for the most GLIAC wins in Bulldog annals.

* Downtown Kenny Brown: FSU's Kenny Brown has been tabbed twice this season as the GLIAC North Division Player of the Week.  He also claimed the Bankhoops.com Michigan Small College Player of the Week honor once this year.  Brown has scored in double-digits in 21 of 24 games to date this season.

* Scouting HC: Hillsdale owns a 21-4 overall record and is 15-3 in the GLIAC to date this season.  The Chargers have claimed the GLIAC South Division crown heading into their regular-season finale versus FSU.  They've lost two of their last five games overall this campaign.  The Chargers are led in scoring by Brad Guinane (13.2 ppg.), who's one of four Hillsdale players in double-digits this year.  HC was ranked third in the region last week under fifth-year head coach John Tharp.

* Scouting GVSU: The Lakers are coming off a 80-67 loss on Saturday (Feb. 18) at Wayne State, but have won four of their last six overall. GVSU owns a 14-8 mark and is 10-8 in conference play going into Saturday's matchup. The Lakers posted a 19-8 overall record in 2010-11 and were second in the GLIAC North Division behind FSU with a 14-5 league record. Senior guard James Thomas is among three Laker players scoring in double-figures at 15.0 points per contest. GVSU is 9-3 to date at home this campaign.

* Good Showing At Home: Ferris State junior guard Kenny Brown led the Bulldogs to a pair of decisive wins in FSU's last two home contests (Feb. 9 & 11) by averaging 26.5 points per game.  The 6-2 Brown totaled 53 points, eight rebounds, four assists and two steals in the two-game stretch.  He dropped 29 points and sank 10-of-14 (.714) shots from the floor along with five-of-eight (.625) three's in a 82-57 triumph over Lake Erie (Feb. 9).  Brown then compiled 24 points on 50% shooting and hit four treys in a 87-66 win over Ashland (Feb. 11).  He sank all six of his free throws in the two games.

* GLIAC Leaderboard: Ferris ranks first in the conference in turnover margin (+3.71) along with third in offensive rebounds (12.7 pg.), third in steals (8.4 pg.) and fourth in scoring defense (64.1 ppg.).  Individually, junior Kenny Brown is second in made three's (2.8 pg.) along with fifth in scoring (17.0 ppg.) and free throw percentage (.855).  Junior Daniel Sutherlin ranks fourth in offensive boards (3.02 pg.) and fifth in total rebounds (8.3 pg.) while senior Jerrell Sanders is sixth overall in rebounding (7.0 pg.).  Dontae Molden is third in the league in steals (1.8 pg.) while freshman Dietrich Lever is fourth in assist/to ratio (2.1).

* Season Of Firsts: The FSU men's basketball team is one of three Bulldog teams currently in first place in their respective conference races heading into the week.  The Bulldog women's basketball squad has already clinched the GLIAC North Championships while FSU Hockey has already claimed at least a share of the CCHA Championship and is ranked first in the nation in D1 hockey this week.

* Regional Rankings: FSU was ranked ninth in last week's initial NCAA Division II Midwest Regional Rankings.  The top eight teams at the end of the season receive berths to the NCAA-II Tournament.

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