PREVIEW: Ferris State Men's Basketball Opens Four-Game Road Stretch In Ohio
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Big Rapids, Mich. - The Ferris State University men's basketball hits the road for two Great Lakes Intercollegiate Athletic Conference (GLIAC) contests this Ohio this week. FSU visits Malone on Thursday (Jan. 9) for a 8 p.m. (ET) league tilt in Canton and then squares off against Walsh on Saturday (Jan. 11) starting at 3 p.m. (ET).
It will represent the Bulldogs' first trip to Canton to face the league's two newest schools for the second time each in series' history. The two games this week also open a four-game league road stretch for Ferris State.
Both games will be broadcast locally by Sunny 97.3 FM and the Bulldog Sports Network starting with the Meijer Pregame Show a half-hour prior to the women's tipoff. Rob Bentley will call the action. In addition, a live audio broadcast and pay-per-view video webcast (Saturday Only) will also be accessible along with live internet statistics. For a full listing of links, please visit FerrisStateBulldogs.com.
The Bulldogs are currently midst a three-way tie for first-place in the GLIAC North Division standings entering this week's trip. FSU is tied at the top of the division with Grand Valley State and Lake Superior State. All three teams own 5-1 league records.
Ferris State (6-4, 5-1 GLIAC) enters Thursday's tilt with a 6-4 overall record to date this season and FSU has won six of its last seven outings to date under head coach Andy Bronkema's direction heading into the league contest. Last week, the Bulldogs returned from the holiday break and upset nationally 12th-ranked Findlay 85-81 on Thursday (Jan. 2) evening at Jim Wink Arena before falling to Hillsdale 72-59 on Saturday (Jan. 4) at home in Big Rapids.
Malone (5-5, 3-3 GLIAC) is currently tied for second place overall in the GLIAC South Division heading into Thursday's clash in Canton. The Pioneers, who are in their second-year as a GLIAC member, have split their last six games to date and are coming off a 66-63 league road setback at Wayne State this past Saturday.
Walsh (8-2, 4-2 GLIAC), which hosts Grand Valley State on Thursday night prior to facing the Bulldogs, is off to an 8-2 start this campaign and leads the GLIAC South Division standings entering the week with a 4-2 conference mark. The Cavaliers are riding a current three-game winning streak.
A year ago, the Bulldogs swept both Malone and Walsh at home inside Jim Wink Arena in the first-ever series' matchups against both teams. Ferris State recorded a 90-51 league victory over Malone in its first game back from the holidays last season (1/3/13) and led by as many as 41 points in the contest. The Bulldogs shot 50% from the floor and hit 21-of-27 free throws in the victory.
After the win over Malone last season, the Bulldogs came back to register a close 70-68 home triumph over Walsh two days later (1/5/13) at Wink Arena. The game featured 13 lead changes and was tied 11 times as the game went to the wire. A basket by guard Drew Lehman with six seconds to play lifted the Bulldogs to the victory.
Malone's 3-3 conference mark to date has come against a tough league schedule. The Pioneers' most impressive win to date may have been a 84-77 home triumph over Northwood on Dec. 14. Their losses in league play have been on the road at Michigan Tech and Wayne State along with a home setback to current GLIAC North co-leader Lake Superior State. Isiah Elliot is averaging a squad-best 20.2 points per game to date and is one of four double-figure scorers this season for the Pioneers.
Meanwhile, the Cavaliers are 56-6 to date in their new Alumni Arena and have won 95 of their last 102 home contests overall. This season, they are off to a 8-2 start and own a divisional-leading 4-2 league slate. Their two league setbacks have both been at home as their fell to Northwood 91-88 in overtime and Lake Superior State by a 68-65 score in back-to-back contests on Dec. 12 & 14. Since then, Walsh has rebounded for three wins in a row, including a league road sweep at Wayne State and Saginaw Valley State last week. Jesse Hardin is averaging a team-high 16.8 points per game to date this season.
Following this week's trip, Ferris State continues its league road swing next week as the Bulldogs head to Michigan's Upper Peninsula to face Michigan Tech and Northern Michigan. The two trips to Ohio and the UP are the Bulldogs longest league road trips of the year and come in back-to-back weekends of action. FSU's next home contest will not be until Thursday, Jan. 23.
Click Here For Complete Game Notes (PDF)