WBB Notes: USI & Oakland City (Dec. 30-31)

Junior forward Amy Joostberns & the Bulldogs head to Indiana for two games (Photo by Ed Hyde)

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* The Game: The Ferris State University women’s basketball team will play a pair of non-conference road contests in Indiana over the holiday break. FSU visits Southern Indiana on Wednesday, Dec. 30, for a 6 p.m. (EST) game in Evansville before taking on Oakland City (Ind.) on New Year’s Eve (Dec. 31) in a 6 p.m. (EST) contest at Oakland City, Ind.

* Ticket Info: Tickets for both games will be available at the door prior to the respective tipoff time.

* Media Coverage: There will be no local radio or broadcast coverage available for either contest. Southern Indiana will provide live audio along with live internet statistics for that game. Please visit FSU’s Athletics Website at www.ferrisstatebulldogs.com as the game approaches to find links for all available coverage in the “upcoming events” tab.

* Follow On Twitter: Bulldog fans can follow FSU games this year via Twitter. To access the service, please visit www.twitter.com/ferrisathletics to follow the tweet-by-tweet coverage with periodic scoring updates.

* Last Time Out: Ferris State suffered a pair of Great Lakes Intercollegiate Athletic Conference (GLIAC) road losses last week. FSU fell to Findlay by a 71-43 score last Thursday (Dec. 10) and then dropped a 94-74 decision at Hillsdale on Saturday (Dec. 12). Ferris shot 57.8% (26-45) from the floor in Saturday’s loss at Hillsdale, but turned the ball over 30 times in the setback.

* Leading The Way: FSU sophomore guard Tricia Principe averaged a team-high 11.5 points along with seven rebounds in the two-game stretch at Findlay and Hillsdale. Freshman forward/center Leah Kebler also posted two double-figure scoring outings with 10 points apiece in both contests.

* Long Layoff: The game at Southern Indiana will wrap up a two and a half week layoff for the Bulldogs. In fact, FSU will play only the two games at Southern Indiana and Oakland City during a nearly three and a half week stretch dating from the Hillsdale game (Dec. 12) to its next league contest versus Lake Superior State (Jan. 7). The trip to Findlay and Hillsdale also began a stretch in which the Bulldogs play nine of 11 games away from home from Dec. 10-Jan. 23.

* Burning The Nets: Ferris currently ranks 25th nationally of 300 Division II programs in field goal percentage (.457) this season. FSU is fourth among the GLIAC schools in the same category as five league teams are presently listed among the nation’s top 33 squads in field goal percentage to date this season.

* The Records: Ferris State (2-6, 1-4 GLIAC) concluded the 2008-09 season with a 13-15 overall record after winning seven of their final nine contests. The Bulldogs made their 10th consecutive and 11th overall berth in the GLIAC Tournament where they advanced to the semifinals for the third-straight year in 2008-09.

Southern Indiana (10-2, 2-0 GLVC) has won nine consecutive games heading into its meeting with FSU and are a perfect 6-0 at home this campaign.

Oakland City is currently 2-7 overall with a single home game left to play on Dec. 19 prior to facing the Bulldogs. They are 2-4 at home this year to date.

* The Coaches: Ferris State – Tracey Dorow (Western Michigan, 1996), 12th season, 190-130 (.594) – (2-3-0 vs. USI). Dorow presently ranks as Ferris’ all-time winningest coach. She guided FSU to a 22-7 mark and the school's first NCAA-II Great Lakes Regional Tourney appearance in 1999-00. She spent three seasons as an assistant coach at Lake Michigan College (1994-97) and one season at Indianapolis (1997-98). She also directed FSU to an NCAA Tourney berth in 2003-04 and the NCAA-II Sweet Sixteen in 2006-07.

Southern Indiana – Rick Stein, 11th season at USI. He is Southern Indiana’s all-time leader in victories and entered the year with a 167-122 overall ledger. Stein has been involved in the program for 18 years as a head coach or assistant and has played a hand in four league titles, seven NCAA Tourney bids and two Elite Eight appearances.

Oakland City – Jessica Mehringer, 3rd season at Oakland City. Mehringer has led the “Lady Oaks” to back-to-back third place finishes in the National Christian College Athletic Association (NCCAA) Women’s Division I National Championship Tournament.

* Coming Up Next: The Bulldogs return home and resume GLIAC play on Thursday, Jan. 7, by hosting Lake Superior State at Jim Wink Arena. Tipoff is set for 6 p.m. (EST).  FSU then takes on Saginaw Valley State as part of the “Basketball Bonanza” on Saturday, Jan. 9, with the women’s game starting at 3 p.m. (EST) inside Wink Arena. The “Basketball Bonanza” will include four games as a pair of local high schools in Big Rapids and Chippewa Hills will also square off in boys and girls action at Wink Arena.

* Top Performers: Sophomore guards Tricia Principe and Kelsey DeNoyelles have both tallied four double-figure scoring performances each in their last five outings to date this season. Principe has scored 10 points or more in four-straight games heading into the Southern Indiana contest.

* Looking At Southern Indiana: Southern Indiana has won nine consecutive games heading into its meeting with FSU and is a perfect 6-0 at home this campaign. Last year, Southern Indiana finished 14-13 overall (6-11 GLVC) and was just one win shy of qualifying for the league's post-season tournament, despite having just three upperclassmen on the roster. The game against FSU is part of a six-game homestand for the Screaming Eagles, who are guided by Rick Stein. Junior guard Ellen Young leads two players in double-figure scoring with a team-high 15.3 points per game average to date this year.

* Looking At Oakland City: Oakland City is currently 2-7 overall with a single game remaining on Dec. 19 prior to facing the Bulldogs. They are 2-3 at home this year to date. Head coach Jessica Mehringer has led the “Lady Oaks” to back-to-back third place finishes in the National Christian College Athletic Association (NCCAA) Women’s Division I National Championship Tournament. They will wrap up their own six-game homestand versus the Bulldogs. Junior guard Samantha Stahl is averaging a team-best 16.2 points per contest.

* Series Info: The Bulldogs trail Southern Indiana 5-2 in the all-time series and own a 1-2 mark in games played at Evansville along with an 0-2 record in Big Rapids. FSU won the most recent game 71-55 during the 2006-07 season ...... Ferris and Oakland City have never faced each other before heading into the New Year’s Eve contest.

* FSU vs USI - The Last Meeting: Ferris State raced out to a six-point halftime advantage and beat Southern Indiana by a 71-55 score in the most recent series’ game played between the two teams in the opening game of the Southern Illinois-Edwardsville Cougar Classic held in 2006-07 (12/29) at Edwardsville, Ill. Four Bulldog players reached double-figure scoring with guard Kristin Reinhart pacing FSU with 19 points. Current Ferris student assistant coach Rachel Folcik had 14 points in the game. Senior center Andrea Clancy, who is out with an injury, is the only current player still on the Bulldogs’ 2009-10 squad who was active on the 2006-07 team that advanced to the NCAA Division II “Sweet Sixteen”.

* FSU Picked Third: Ferris was picked to finish third in the 2009-10 GLIAC North Division Preseason Media Poll in conjunction with the league’s annual media day teleconference. The Bulldogs totaled 74 points in the balloting and trailed Michigan Tech's 142 points and second place Grand Valley State's 122 points in the North Division. The preseason nationally top-ranked Huskies earned 22 of a possible 24 first-place votes with GVSU earning the final two top votes. Northwood received 16 first-place votes in being selected the South Division favorite by a group of 24 media members.

* Last Season: Ferris State concluded the 2008-09 season with a 13-15 overall record after winning seven of its final nine contests. The Bulldogs made their 10th consecutive and 11th overall berth in the GLIAC Tournament where they advanced to the semifinals for the third-straight year in 2008-09.

* The Bulldog Roster: Ferris’ current 2009-10 roster includes one senior, four juniors, three sophomores and five freshmen. Seven of the 13 players are guards while the remaining six are frontcourt players. Eleven players on the roster hail from Michigan with one each from Ohio and Indiana.

* FSU Newcomers: Three Bulldog players made their official debut in the season opener at Gannon (Nov. 20), including freshman guard Kylie Muntz (Dayton, Ohio/Wayne), freshman forward/center Leah Kebler (Midland/Dow) and freshman forward/center Katy Fox (Royal Center, Ind./Pioneer). A fourth freshman, guard Ashley Huntey (Stanwood/Morley-Stanwood), made her debut versus Lewis (Nov. 24) after joining the squad following her sophomore volleyball campaign at FSU.

* The Bulldog Tradition: The Ferris State women’s basketball program, which is midst its 36th season of varsity competition, has compiled a 443-455 (.493) all-time mark. The Bulldogs won their only GLIAC crown, advanced to their first NCAA-II Regional Tournament and recorded the nation’s highest grade point average in 1999-2000. FSU, which claimed GLIAC Tourney runner-up honors in 1999-00 and 2003-04, has posted 10 or more victories 13 consecutive seasons.

* Great Season: Ferris State advanced to the NCAA-II Great Lakes Regional Championship Game for the first time ever in 2006-07 and was ranked 25th nationally in the final 2006-07 USA Today/ESPN NCAA Division II Top 25 Poll. The Bulldogs, who prior to 2006-07 had never won a NCAA Tournament game, recorded back-to-back wins in their first two national tournament contests en route to the regional runner-up finish. Ferris also compiled a second-place tying 13-5 GLIAC regular-season finish and earned the program's eighth consecutive GLIAC Tournament bid in the historic campaign.

* Coaching Staff Changes: Ferris head coach Tracey Dorow put the finishing pieces of her coaching staff together for the 2009-10 campaign with the appointment of Mark DeNoyelles, who served as a volunteer assistant coach for the Bulldogs in 2008-09, to the assistant coaching post following the departure of former assistant Crystal Harris, who left earlier this summer for a NCAA Division I assistant coaching position in her home state at Cal-State Fullerton. Former Bulldog standout Rachel Folcik has also returned to the program as a student assistant coach for this year. Folcik wrapped up her stellar Bulldog career in 2007-08 and spent last year playing overseas, but has returned to FSU to pursue a Master's degree. The Bulldogs' staff this season will also include Dorow's father, Rick Bloodworth, as a volunteer assistant coach for the fourth season and current FSU student Miles Prendergast in a student coaching role.

* Bulldog Notes: Junior guard Becci Houdek needs 17 points to garner her 400th career point at FSU ....... Ferris has won nine or more home games three of the last four years to date ...... Kelsey DeNoyelles scored her 200th career point at Hillsdale while junior forward Amy Joostberns is five points away from the same figure ...... FSU head coach Tracey Dorow notched her 190th career coaching win against Ashland (Dec. 3) and needs only 10 more to post her 200th career victory ..... The Bulldogs are seven wins away from notching the 450th triumph in school history ......... Two FSU veteran players are sidelined for the forseeable future in junior guard Stephanie DeNoyelles and senior center Andrea Clancy. DeNoyelles was injured in the offseason while Clancy played four minutes in FSU’s exhibition at Oakland before likely being lost for the year.

* Notes From Last Week: All 10 Bulldog players scored in the game at Hillsdale ........ Ferris made four-of-five (80%) three-pointers in the final half versus the Chargers ........ The Bulldogs' five starters combined for only one personal foul in the Hillsdale game ....... Ferris shot only 29.6% (8-27) from the field in the first half versus Findlay .... UF picked up its third series' win in the last four meetings ..... The Oilers also tied up the all-time series' at 7-7.

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