By Danny Collins
Big Rapids, Mich.- The Ferris State University men's and women's basketball teams prepare to head to Sault Ste. Marie for a Great Lakes Intercollegiate Athletic Conference (GLIAC) doubleheader against the Lake Superior State Lakers this Saturday (Dec. 16) at Bud Cooper Gymnasium.
The women's contest will tipoff first at 1 p.m. (ET) and will then be followed by a top-25 showdown as the #5 Bulldogs take on the #18 Lakers at 3 p.m. (ET). This week, the men's game has been tabbed as one of the Division II "Games of the Week."
The women's squad is coming off a close 77-72 loss against the Saginaw Valley State Cardinals on Saturday (Dec. 9).
Ferris state was lead in scoring versus SVSU by freshman Adrienne Anderson, who tallied a team-best 17 points, including 15 in the first half. FSU was also aided with 15 points from senior center Rachel McInerney and 13 points from senior guard Leah Humes.
The team is averaging 83.7 points per game and is shooting 42.9 percent from the field. They are averaging nearly 25 points more per game this season than in 2016-17.
The team is led in scoring by senior center Rachel McInerney at 16.7 points per game. Junior guard Riley Blair is second on the team with 10.4 points per game and freshman Kelsey Wyman is third on the team with 10 per game.
With the loss, the women are now 6-4 on the season and 1-3 in GLIAC play. They also currently are 1-2 on the road.
LSSU is still searching for its first victory of the season as the Lakers enter the tilt 0-8 overall and 0-4 in the GLIAC.
The Lakers maintain a 52-43 advantage heading into Saturday's 96th meeting. LSSU has won 19 of the last 35 meetings, but Ferris State has captured five of the last eight meetings. However, last year Lake Superior State won both matchups by scores of 73-59 in Sault Ste. Marie and 58-54 in Big Rapids.
The men meanwhile, are coming off a dominant 81-45 (Dec. 9) triumph against GLIAC foe Saginaw Valley State.
Junior center Zach Hankins led FSU with a game-high 19 points along with eight rebounds and five blocked shots. The squad also received help from junior forward Markese Mayfield, who had 13 points, in addition to 10 points off the bench from redshirt freshman Jaylin McFadden.
The Bulldogs also forced 17 turnovers on the afternoon and outscored the Cardinals 24-3 in points off those turnovers. The team also dominated in the paint with 50 points compared to only 18 for the Cardinals.
With the win, the Bulldogs are now 12-0 on the season. This represents the first time in the nearly 100 years of Ferris State Basketball that the Bulldogs have won their first 12 games, which tops the 1972-73 team which started 11-0 overall.
The Bulldogs improved to 4-0 in GLIAC play on the season and 2-0 on the road.
The team is averaging nearly 84 points per game and is shooting 50 percent from the field.
The Bulldogs are led in scoring by senior guard Drew Cushingberry, who is averaging 14.8 points per game. Junior center Zach Hankins is second on the team with 12.8 points per game and senior forward Noah King is third with 12.4 points per game.
Lake Superior State's men's basketball team is currently 9-1 overall and is also 4-0 in conference play. The Lakers are coming into Saturday's matchup having won their last six games. The Lakers are currently nationally ranked 18th in the NABC Coaches poll.
The FSU men's team holds an 81-56 lead heading into Saturday's 138th all-time meeting versus LSSU. The Bulldogs have won 17 of the last 32 series' matchups overall with the two squads splitting a pair of games a year ago.
Ferris State defeated the Lakers last season (Jan. 12) 111-103 before Lake Superior State responded with a 83-79 victory over the Bulldogs (Feb. 9). The matchup between the two teams has been one of the best rivalries in the GLIAC in recent years.
The two teams are on top of the GLIAC standings as they are tied for first place. The Bulldogs are also first in the league in total scoring with 83.9 points per game and the Lakers are second in the league averaging 83.1 points per game.
Lake Superior State is also first in the conference in field goal percentage at 51.8 and the Bulldogs are third shooting 50.0 percent.
The Bulldogs will be matching up against the GLIAC's third-leading scorer with the Lakers' senior guard Akaemji Williams averaging 18.1 points per game to date.
Following Saturday's matchups, both Bulldog teams will play non-league games for their final action prior to the holiday break on Monday (Dec. 18) night. The men's team takes on Lewis (Ill.) in a regional matchup at Godwin Heights High School in Wyoming (Mich.) with the FSU women facing NCAA Division I Bowling Green at the Stroh Center in Bowling Green, Ohio. Both games will start at 7 p.m. (ET).