March 7, 2012

Women's Basketball NCAA Tourney Game Notes

Friday, March 9
NCAA-II Midwest Regional Quarterfinal
Ferris State vs. Drury (Mo.), 2:30 p.m.
Live On Sunny 97.3 FM & Bulldog Sports Network (Pregame @ 2 p.m.)
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CLICK HERE FOR PRINTABLE GAME NOTES (PDF)
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* The Game:
The Ferris State University women's basketball team has received its fourth-ever NCAA Division II Tournament bid and will face Drury (Mo.) in the quarterfinal round of the Midwest Regional on Friday, March 9, at 2:30 p.m. (ET) inside Kates Gymnasium in Ashland, Ohio.  FSU is the number two overall seed and will face the region's seventh-seeded Panthers from Springfield, Mo.  Ashland University earned the top seed and will host the tournament March 9-12.

* Ticket Info: Tickets for all sessions will go on sale Wednesday or can be purchased one hour prior to the start of each session at the the entrance to Kates Gymnasium.  Ticket prices are $10 for adult general admission tickets or $4 for all student tickets. A separate ticket will need to be purchased for each session, which consists of two games. The facility will be cleared between sessions. No complimentary tickets will be issued per NCAA regulations. For more information, please contact Ashland's athletic office at (419) 289-5441.

* Media Coverage: All Ferris State games will be carried live by the Bulldog Sports Network and Sunny 97.3 FM with Rob Bentley calling the play-by-play action from Ashland.  The Meijer Pregame show starts one-half hour prior to tipoff each day.  The broadcast will also be accessible at www.FerrisStateBulldogs.com.  AU will provide live internet stats, but there is currently no video coverage scheduled for any of the games.  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 all the Bulldog action via Twitter and Facebook with live scoring updates. Please visit www.facebook.com/ferrisathletics or www.twitter.com/ferrisathletics to follow the periodic posts and tweet-by-tweet coverage.

* Key Regional Fact: The Bulldogs and host Ashland are the only Great Lakes Intercollegiate Athletic Conference (GLIAC) schools in the eight-team regional field with the other six coming from the Great Lakes Valley Conference (GLVC).

* Regional Tourney Schedule: Third-seeded Wisconsin-Parkside will face sixth-seeded Indianapolis in the first regional quarterfinal at 12 p.m. (ET).  Following the FSU-Drury game, host and top-seeded Ashland takes on eighth-seeded GLVC Tourney Champion Maryville (Mo.) at 6 p.m.  The final game at 8:30 p.m. on Friday matches fourth-seeded Northern Kentucky and fifth-seeded Quincy (Ill.).  The winners of Friday's games advance to the regional semifinals on Saturday night with the title game set for Monday evening.

* The Records: Ferris State (22-6, 17-2 GLIAC) has won 20 of its last 24 outings to date this campaign and 16 of its last 18 overall.  FSU won won the GLIAC North Division Championship with a 17-2 league mark this season and was the runner-up in the GLIAC Tournament.
    
Drury (20-7, 15-3 GLVC) placed tied for first in the GLVC West Division along with Quincy and is making its 10th consecutive NCAA-II Tournament bid.  The Panthers are 20-7 overall and have won 14 of their last 17 overall.  Five of Drury's seven losses this year are to teams that made the NCAA-II Tournament along with one to NCAA-I Oral Roberts.

* The Coaches: Ferris State – Tracey Dorow (Western Michigan, 1996), 14th season, 231-162 (.588).  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.
    
Drury – Steve Harold, 13th season overall, 5th at Drury.  Harold ranks as one of the country's most successful programs and achieved sucecss at Glenville State (W.Va.) prior to taking over at Drury.  His teams have claimed three GLVC titles and made five NCAA trips in his tenure with the Panthers.

* Regional Semifinals/Finals: The winner of the Ferris/Drury game will face the winner of the Wisconsin-Parkside/Indianapolis contest in the first regional semifinal on Saturday at 5 p.m. (ET).  Meanwhile, the winner of the Ashland/Maryville game faces the victor in the NKU/Quincy contest in the second regional semifinal at 7:30 p.m.  Monday's title game is slated for a 7 p.m. start inside Kates Gymnasium.

* NCAA Tourney History: Ferris State will be making its fourth-ever NCAA-II Tournament appearance and holds a 2-3 all-time mark in NCAA action.  The Bulldogs made their first appearance during the 1999-00 campaign and dropped a 90-77 decision to Missouri-St. Louis (3/9/00) in the opening round of the Great Lakes Regional at Highland Heights, Ky.  FSU suffered a 82-69 loss to conference foe Ashland it its second trip to the big dance in 2004 (3/12/04) at Quincy, Ill.  The Bulldogs then reached the NCAA-II Sweet Sixteen and the regional final in their most recent trip to the tournament in 2006-07 at Romeoville, Ill.

* Regional Rematch: Friday's game will feature a rematch between Ferris State and Drury in NCAA Tournament action.  The Bulldogs' most recent regional tournament game came in a 79-69 setback to the Panthers in the 2007 NCAA-II Great Lakes Regional final (3/12/07) at Romeoville, Ill.  FSU had advanced to the Sweet Sixteen that season by beating Northern Kentucky 70-69 in the first round (3/9/07) and Gannon 80-61 in the regional semifinals (3/10/07).

* About The Tourney: The single-elimination national tournament field of 64 schools includes eight regions of eight teams apiece.  The Midwest Regional Champion will advance to the NCAA Division II Elite Eight set for March 20-23 in San Antonio, Texas.

* Series History vs. Drury: The Bulldogs hold a 2-2 all-time series mark versus Drury, but has dropped the last two games.  The Panthers earned a 66-64 win over FSU in the most recent matchup (12/20/07) at Springfield, Mo., which came only months after the NCAA-II Sweet Sixteen game won by Drury. FSU posted a 91-87 regular-season win over Drury at home inside Jim Wink Arena in 2006 (11/25/06. FSU also recorded a 77-62 triumph over Drury in first-ever series' meeting during the 2000-01 campaign (12/19/00) at the Disney Classic hosted by Northwest Missouri State in Orlando, Fla.

* Scouting Drury: The Panthers own a 20-7 overall mark and placed tied for first in the GLVC West Division along with Quincy with a 15-3 league record.  They are making their 10th consecutive NCAA-II Tournament bid.  Five of Drury's seven losses this year are to teams that made the NCAA-II Tournament along with one to NCAA-I Oral Roberts.  Fifth-year head coach Steve Harold's team is paced in scoring by sophomore guard Bethanie Funderburk (15.4 ppg.). They were 11-1 at home this campaign along with 8-4 on the road and 1-2 at neutral sites.

* FSU Cracked Rankings: The Bulldogs were listed 25th nationally once this year (Feb. 7) in the USA Today/ESPN Division II Coaches Top 25 Poll administered by the Women's Basketball Coaches Association.  The ranking marked the first time FSU had been ranked nationally since finishing 25th in the final poll of the 2006-07 season.  That poll was released at the end of the 2006-07 season in which Ferris State reached the NCAA Division II Sweet Sixteen by winning a pair of games in the NCAA Division II Tournament. Additionally, FSU's ranking represented the first time the Bulldogs had been found among the nation's top 25 teams in a WBCA regular-season poll in almost 12 years.  The Bulldogs last were ranked in the regular-season at the 22nd spot on Feb. 29, 2000.

* Ten Wins Again: With 22 wins this season, the Bulldogs have now failed to win 10 games in a season only twice in the last 21 years and only once under coach Tracey Dorow. FSU had reached double-digit victories 13 consecutive seasons prior to 2009-10.  The Bulldogs bounced back to win 13 games a year ago.

* GLIAC Champions: Ferris State officially won the GLIAC North Division Championship in outright fashion with a grueling 80-72 league win over Findlay in regular-season play this season (Feb. 18) at UF's Croy Gymnasium in Findlay, Ohio. FSU had previously clinched a share of the crown with a 81-63 road win at Wayne State (Feb. 16) in Detroit.  The title is the second in school history and first in outright fashion after sharing the crown in 1999-00.

* The Bulldog Tradition: The Ferris State women's basketball program, which starts its 37th season of varsity competition, has compiled a 484-487 (.498) all-time mark. The Bulldogs won their only previous 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 wins or more in 14 of the last 15 seasons.

* Coaching Staff: Ferris head coach Tracey Dorow returned the bulk of her coaching staff for the 2011-12 campaign.  Kurt Westendorp returns for his second campaign as the assistant coach.  He formerly spent three seasons as the assistant coach at NCAA Division III Albion. The Bulldogs' staff this season again includes Dorow's father, Rick Bloodworth, as a volunteer assistant coach for the sixth season.  Former Bulldog players Becci Houdek and Caitlin Carmody are serving as student assistants.

* 1000 Points: Bulldog senior guard Tricia Principe became just the 15th player in school history to reach the 1,000 career points mark in her final regular-season home game against Hillsdale (Feb. 22).  Principe was tabbed as the GLIAC North Division Player of the Week just prior (Feb. 20) after averaging 21 points, seven rebounds and three assists to help the Bulldogs secure the GLIAC North Division Championship with two road wins at Wayne State & Findlay (Feb. 16 & 18).

* Season Of Wins: Ferris State's 22 wins to date this season are the second-most in school history.  FSU won a record 23 games (23-9) while moving to the NCAA-II Sweet Sixteen in 2006-07.  Additionally, the Bulldogs' 17 league regular-season victories this campaign are the program's most in school history and topped the 16 wins set in 1999-00.

* GLIAC Leaders: FSU finished the regular-season among the GLIAC leaders ranked second in field goal % defense (.360) and rebounding defense (30.2 pg.).  FSU was also second in three-point % (.352), field goal % (.434), rebound margin (+9.4) and free throw % (.751).  Senior Tricia Principe ranked third in free throw % (.874) while Christina Branch was eighth in rebounds (8.1 pg.).  Sarah DeShone was listed third in assists (4.6 pg.), third in three-point % (.435) and ninth in scoring (14.6 pg.).  Freshman Hannah Hoffman was sixth in blocks (1.1 pg.) with sophomore Nikki Arner ranked eighth in field goal % (.487).

* Player Of Week: Bulldog senior guard Tricia Principe was tabbed as the GLIAC North Division Player of the Week (Feb. 20) after averaging 21 points, seven rebounds and three assists in two road wins to help the Bulldogs secure the GLIAC North Division Championship.  The 5-9 Principe shot 58% (11-19) from the floor, made nine-of-14 (.643) three-pointers and connected on 11-of-12 (.917) free throws in the two contests.  She recorded 42 points, 14 rebounds and six assists in the two games.  Principe tallied a game-high 27 points and had seven boards in FSU's title-clinching 80-72 triumph at Findlay.  Principe made seven-of-eight free throws, all in the final 58 seconds, to ice the win over the Oilers.

* Season Of Firsts: The FSU women's basketball team was one of three Bulldog teams to win a league championship this winter along with the men's hoops team that claimed a share of the GLIAC North title and the Bulldog Hockey team, which claimed the CCHA Regular-Season crown.

* Senior Trio: FSU's senior trio of Tricia Principe, Lindsey Pettit and Kelsey DeNoyelles have currently combined for 2,184 career points along with 970 rebounds and 432 assists heading into the regional quarterfinal game.  Principe has scored 1,035 points with 403 boards while Pettit has 419 points and 227 rebounds.  DeNoyelles has added 730 points with 340 rebounds.  They have also helped lead FSU to only the school's second-ever league title and first since the 1999-00 campaign.

* Back To Ashland: This week marks the Bulldogs' second trip to Ashland in less than a week's span as Ferris State finished as the GLIAC Tournament Runner-Up this past weekend (March 3-4) at Kates Gymnasium.  The Bulldogs beat Tiffin 53-39 in Saturday's (March 3) semis before falling to nationally fourth-ranked Ashland 66-50 on Sunday.

* All-GLIAC Selections: Ferris State was well-represented on the All-GLIAC teams announced last week in conjunction with the postseason banquet at the league's final four.  Sophomore Sarah DeShone was one of 10 first-team honorees while both freshman forward/center Christina Branch and senior guard Tricia Principe were second-team picks.  Branch also claimed GLIAC All-Defensive Team recognition.

* Freshman Of The Year: Besides claiming All-GLIAC Second Team laurels and GLIAC All-Defensive Team kudos, FSU's Christina Branch was also honored as the 2011-12 GLIAC Freshman of the Year. Branch made an immediate impact for the Bulldogs this season.  The 6-2 Branch currently ranks as the Bulldogs' leading rebounder (8.3 rpg.) and the squad's third-leading scorer (9.7 ppg.).  She's listed among the league's top 15 performers in rebounding, field goal percentage, blocked shots and defensive boards along with offensive rebounds.  Branch has posted 11 double-figure scoring efforts this season with seven games of 10 or more rebounds.

* First Midwest Berth: While Ferris State is making its fourth all-time NCAA Division II Tournament berth, it is the Bulldogs' first trip to the Midwest Regional.  FSU's first three national tournament bids were all to the former Great Lakes Regional.

* Against The Region: Ferris State has recorded a 21-5 mark against Midwest Region Schools to date this year as all but two games have come against regional foes.  Including in the figure was a 19-3 mark against teams from the GLIAC, counting postseason play.  FSU was 1-2 versus GLVC institutions in the regular-season.

* In The Tournament: The Bulldogs own a current 1-2 record versus Great Lakes Valley Conference schools in NCAA Tournament play all-time along with a 1-1 mark versus GLIAC member institutions.  FSU's two NCAA Tourney wins both came in 2006-07 versus GLVC foe Northern Kentucky and former GLIAC member Gannon.

* Going Back In Time: This year marks the first time the Bulldogs have reached the NCAA-II Tournament, made the GLIAC Tournament Championship Game and achieved 20 wins or more all in the same season since the 1999-00 season.  It is only the second time ever Ferris has accomplished the feat.

* GLIAC Preseason Poll: The Ferris State women's basketball squad was picked to finish fifth in the 2011-12 GLIAC North Division Preseason Media Poll. The Bulldogs received 83 points in voting by members of the media across the league.  Defending national runner-up Michigan Tech was tabbed to win the division after claiming the league crown last year with Ashland picked first in the GLIAC South poll.  FSU was the only team to beat Michigan Tech in league play a year ago (1/20/11) as the Bulldogs posted a 63-60 victory at FSU's Jim Wink Arena.

* Last Season: The Bulldog women's basketball squad wrapped up the 2010-11 campaign with a 13-13 overall record.  Last year marked the 14th time in the last 15 seasons the Bulldogs had registered double-digit wins in a campaign.  FSU placed fifth in the GLIAC North Division standings with an 8-11 league record in 2010-11.

* Senior Night Win: The Bulldogs recorded a 61-51 win over Hillsdale in their regular-season home finale this season (Feb. 22).  FSU honored its three seniors after the game, including Lindsey Pettit, Kelsey DeNoyelles and Tricia Principe.  Pettit paced the Bulldogs with 13 points in the game.

* Rivalry Victory: Ferris State closed out the regular-season with a hard-fought 46-44 win over archrival Grand Valley State (Feb. 25) at the GVSU Fieldhouse Arena in Allendale. The Bulldogs trailed by two points in a low-scoring first half, but outscored the Lakers 32-28 over the final 20 minutes to notch the win. Ferris State held Grand Valley State without a field goal in the final five minutes of the game and the Lakers did not score over the last four minutes.  The win also allowed FSU to post a season sweep over Grand Valley State for the first time since the 2003-04 campaign.

* League Tourney History: Ferris State made its 13th league tournament showing this season and has now posted a 10-12 overall record to date.  The berth marked FSU's first appearance in the women's field since 2008-09.

* GLIAC Tourney Notes: FSU claimed GLIAC Tournament runner-up honors for the third time in school history as the Bulldogs were previously the tourney runner-up in 1999-00 and 2003-04 ......  Ferris had dropped seven of its last 10 GLIAC Tourney games prior to last Wednesday's quarterfinal win over Findlay. FSU has now made it past the quarterfinal round in seven of its 12 trips to the GLIAC Tourney .... Ferris State has reached the semifinals in its last four league tournament appearances, including this year.

* GLIAC Semifinal Win: Ferris State topped Tiffin 53-39 in the league tournament semifinals last Saturday (March 3) in Ashland ... The second-seeded Bulldogs limited third-seeded Tiffin to only 21.7% (13-60) shooting for the game and posted a decisive 48-30 rebounding advantage in the semifinals to reach the title contest for the first time since 2004 ....... Freshman Christina Branch paced a balanced Bulldog lineup with 11 points and a game-high 13 rebounds.  Sophomore guard Sarah DeShone added 11 points while senior guard Kelsey DeNoyelles netted 10 points in the victory ..... FSU held the Dragons' talented backcourt combination of Mandy Jaeb and Karli Mast to a combined 1-of-24 shooting.  Jaeb was held scoreless for the first time in her career.

* GLIAC  Tourney Championship: Ferris State came up short in its quest for a GLIAC Tournament title as FSU fell to then nationally fourth-ranked Ashland 66-50 on Sunday (March 4) ..... The first half was close with AU holding a 30-27 halftime edge. In the second half, though, Ashland limited FSU to only 29% (9-31) shooting in outscoring Ferris State 36-23 over the final 20 minutes .... Ferris State was paced by sophomore forward Nikki Arner, who finished with 13 points.  She was the lone FSU player to reach double-figure scoring.

* All-Tourney Team: Ferris State sophomore guard Sarah DeShone and freshman Christina Branch both received GLIAC All-Tournament Team honors for the runner-up Bulldogs while Ashland's Jenna Stutzman and Kari Daugherty were part of the five-member team along with Michigan Tech's Lindsey Lindstrom.  Daugherty claimed MVP honors.

* Outstanding Success: Ferris' 22 victories this year are the program's second-most all-time.  FSU's most came in 2006-07 when the Bulldogs finished with a 23-9 overall mark and reached the NCAA-II Sweet Sixteen.

* One Win Away: Ferris State needs only a single win to match the school single-season record of 23 wins established en route to the NCAA-II Sweet Sixteen in 2006-07.

* Leading The Way: Bulldog sophomore point guard Sarah DeShone ranks as FSU's leading scorer to date this season with a 14.4 points per game average. She also has a team-high 128 assists and a squad-best 48 steals.  For her efforts, she was an All-GLIAC First Team honroee.

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