Big Rapids, Mich. - Ferris State University alumni and fans in the Grand Rapids area will have a special opportunity to watch one of the nation's top collegiate basketball squads in action on Monday (Dec. 18) night as the fifth-ranked Bulldog men's basketball team squares off against regional foe Lewis (Ill.) at Godwin Heights High School in Wyoming.
The Bulldogs, who are off to the best start in school history at 12-1 overall this year, will face the Flyers in the neutral site contst with tipoff set for 7 p.m. (ET).
The game will take place at Godwin Heights and be a homecoming for current FSU junior forward Markese Mayfield and current Lewis junior guard Delaney Blaylock, who both played prep basketball for Godwin Heights.
Tickets for the game will be sold at the door and the game will also be broadcast live on local flagship station Sunny 97.3 FM and the Bulldog Sports Network at FerrisStateBulldogs.com starting with pregame coverage at 6:30 p.m. (ET).
Ferris State is coming off its first setback of the season as the Bulldogs suffered a close 79-74 loss at nationally 18th-ranked Lake Superior State in an early season Great Lakes Intercollegiate Athletic Conference (GLIAC) showdown on Saturday (Dec. 16) afternoon in Sault Ste. Marie. FSU is 4-1 in the GLIAC to date under head coach Andy Bronkema.
Meanwhile, the Flyers are 4-6 to date this season under head coach Scott Trost, but are coming off back-to-back wins with an 88-75 overtime victory versus Great Lakes Valley Conference (GLVC) rival Indianapolis on Dec. 7 followed by a decisive 77-41 road win at St. Francis (Ill.) last Thursday (Dec. 14).
Mayfield has been a fixture in the Ferris State lineup the last two seasons for the three-time defending GLIAC Tournament Champions and is presently averaging 8.2 points along with five rebounds per game thru 13 contests this campaign. Blaylock leads the Flyers in scoring at 16.3 points per contest and is shooting over 50% from the floor in 10 games this season.
Monday's game will represent the ninth consecutive season in which the Bulldogs and Flyers have met in a non-conference regional matchup as the two teams have played each other every year since 2009. Overall, the two squads have split the last eight matchups with FSU having won the last three in a row, including a 84-72 home triumph last year at FSU's Jim Wink Arena.
Ferris State and Lewis will square off for the 19th time Wednesday with the Flyers holding a 11-7 series' advantage. Lewis has won 11 of the last 17 encounters to date. The series has featured a number of memorable and tightly-contested matchups with FSU winning by three points at home in 2014-15 (70-67) followed by a 83-72 overtime road victory in Romeoville (Ill.) two years ago in 2015-16 in which the Bulldogs hit a buzzer-beater in regulation to force the extra session.
In recent history, the two schools have also ranked among the best in the Midwest Region. FSU has made three-straight NCAA Tournament appearances while Lewis has made 15 all-time NCAA Tournament appearances and also earned a regional bid in both 2014-15 and 2015-16.
This past week, Ferris State was ranked third in the country in the Division II Sports Information Directors (D2SIDA) National Poll along with fifth by the National Association of Basketball Coaches (NABC) prior to the setback at Lake Superior State. It marked FSU's highest national ranking in the coaches poll since the end of the 1988-89 campaign.
Monday's game will be FSU's final outing prior to the mandatory NCAA holiday break.