PREVIEW: First-Place Women's Basketball Squad Hosts League Newcomers

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(Note: No video available on Saturday)  
 
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* The Week Ahead:
The Ferris State women's basketball team opens the New Year at home this week with a pair of Great Lakes Intercollegiate Athletic Conference (GLIAC) contests.  FSU hosts league newcomer Malone on Thursday, Jan. 3, at 8 p.m. (ET) before facing Walsh on Saturday, Jan. 5, at 3 p.m. (ET) inside Wink Arena.  The two games are part of a four-game homestand to open 2013 for the Bulldogs in Big Rapids.

* Home Ticket Info: Ferris State home basketball tickets can be purchased in advance thru the FSU Athletics Ticket Office by calling (231) 591-2888 or visit FerrisStateBulldogs.com for more information.  They can also be bought online via StarTickets.com. Adult general admission tickets are $7 or the cost is $5 for FSU faculty/staff, seniors ages 65 and up or students age 3 thru 12th grade.  FSU students are admitted free with a valid student ID card.

* Media Coverage: 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 tipoff.  Rob Bentley and Sandy Gholston will call the action. A live audio broadcast will be accessible online in addition to live internet statistics and a live pay-per-view video webcast (Thursday only).  For a full listing of links, please visit FerrisStateBulldogs.com.

* Follow On Twitter/Facebook: In addition to internet coverage, Bulldog fans can also follow all games this season via Twitter and Facebook with updates. Please visit www.facebook.com/FerrisWBasketball or
www.twitter.com/FerrisWBBALL to follow the periodic posts and tweet-by-tweet coverage with scoring updates.

* Last Time Out: Ferris State has not played since registering a 76-63 league road win over Hillsdale on Dec. 17 at HC's Jesse Philips Arena in Hillsdale, Mich. Junior guard Sarah DeShone keyed the FSU victory with a game-high 27 points on nine-of-12 shooting.  She added five assists, four rebounds and two steals for the Bulldogs. In addition to DeShone's 27 points, the Bulldogs also received a personal career-high 19 points from redshirt freshman guard Katie Mavis along with 15 points and six rebounds by senior guard Kylie Muntz.  The win was the Bulldogs' fourth-straight and fifth in the last six contests.

* First-Ever Series Matchups: Both of this week's matchups against Malone and Walsh represent the first-ever series' meetings against Ferris State.  Both the Pioneers and Cavaliers are midst their first season as members of the GLIAC and both schools are located in Canton, Ohio.  This week marks the only regular-season matchups against either team for the Bulldogs.

* The Records: Ferris State (6-3, 5-1 GLIAC) finished the 2011-12 women's basketball season with a 23-7 overall record, which matched the school record set previously in 2006-07 for most wins in a campaign. Last year marked the 15th time in the last 16 seasons the Bulldogs have registered double-digit wins in a campaign.  FSU also reached the semifinals at the NCAA Division II Midwest Regional Tournament last year.
   
Malone (6-4, 2-4 GLIAC) is currently 6-4 overall this season and owns a 2-4 mark in the GLIAC heading into the New Year.  The Pioneers have dropped three of their last four games to date overall, but are coming off a 51-36 triumph over Grove City on Dec. 28 at Quicken Loans Arena in Cleveland.
   
Walsh (4-5, 1-4 GLIAC) holds a 4-5 overall record to date and is 1-4 in conference action entering Thursday's road tilt at Grand Valley State.  The Cavaliers have won three of their last four games overall with the lone loss in that span coming 82-60 at nationally-ranked Gannon last Saturday (Dec. 29).

* The Coaches: Ferris State – Colleen Lamoreaux-Tate (Aquinas), 1st season, 6-3 (.667) - (0-0 vs. MU, 0-0 vs. WU).  A veteran coach with 26 years of experience on the sidelines and regarded as one of the state's top prep coaches prior to her FSU arrival, Lamoreaux-Tate most recently spent the last seven years as the varsity girls basketball coach at Grand Rapids Catholic Central High School where she guided the Cougars to a 167-19 cumulative record.
   
Malone – Jason Mishler (2nd season).
Walsh – Laurel Wartluft (7th season).

* Ticket Special: Ferris State's next home game will be on Thursday, Jan. 3, against Malone. Fans purchasing tickets in advance directly thru the FSU Athletics Ticket Office in person for the Jan. 3 contest against Malone can receive two tickets for the price of one if bought prior to gameday. Call (231) 591-2888 or visit FerrisStateBulldogs.com for info.

* Saturday Kidz Day: Saturday will be Kidz Day at Wink Arena and all youth in grades K-12 will be admitted free with a paid adult.  A number of activities will be featured directed towards kids, including a bounce house, locker room tour, arts and crafts table and more.  A second Kidz Day will be held next Saturday, Jan. 12, as FSU hosts Northern Michigan in GLIAC North Division action.

* Coming Up Next: Ferris State hosts Michigan Tech next Thursday, Jan. 10, inside Wink Arena with tipoff set for 8 p.m. (ET). FSU then hosts Northern Michigan on Saturday, Jan. 12, in a 3 p.m. (ET) league encounter in Big Rapids.

* Back At Home: Overall, six of the Bulldogs' next nine outings are at home to open the 2013 calendar year this season.  FSU will play nine of its last 16 regular-season tilts in conference play inside Wink Arena after playing four of its first six league encounters on the road.

* Returning All-American: Ferris State's Sarah DeShone earned Women's Basketball Coaches Association (WBCA) Division II Honorable Mention All-America honors for her efforts on the hardwood last year. DeShone averaged 14.1 points and 4.6 assists per contest in 2011-12.

* Looking At The Opponents: Both Malone and Walsh are in their first season of GLIAC competition.  The Pioneers are 2-4 in the GLIAC while the Cavaliers are 1-5 in league play heading into their conference road game at GVSU.  Malone is led in scoring by junior guard Deborah Simmers, who is averaging 10.1 points per game.  Meanwhile, senior guard Tracy Payne paces Walsh heading into Thursday's league road game at Grand Valley State with an 13.0 points per game average.

* Important Note: Ferris State officially won the GLIAC North Division Championship in outright fashion last season with a grueling 80-72 league win over Findlay (Feb. 18) at UF's Croy Gymnasium. The title was the second in school history and first in outright fashion after sharing the crown in 1999-00.

* GLIAC Preseason Poll: Ferris State was picked to finish first in the 2012-13 GLIAC North Division Preseason Coaches Poll announced by the league office.  Ashland claimed top honors in the South Division as both teams were chosen to repeat as divisional champions.

* Second GLIAC Crown: FSU finished with a 17-2 mark in GLIAC play last campaign and won the league's North Division Championship for only the second time in school history in addition to earning conference tournament runner-up honors.

* The Bulldog Roster: Ferris' 2012-13 roster includes two seniors, four juniors, five sophomores and three freshmen or redshirt freshmen. Nine of the 14 players are primarily frontcourt players while the remaining five are guards. Ten of the 14 players on the Bulldogs' roster hail from Michigan with three from Indiana and one from Ohio.

* New Head Coach: FSU Athletics Director Perk Weisenburger officially announced the appointment of Colleen Lamoreaux-Tate as the Bulldogs' new head coach on June 14. She became only the sixth head coach in the 38-year history of Bulldog women's basketball and replaced former head coach Tracey Dorow, who accepted the head coaching position at NCAA Division I Valparaiso University in April. In her seven seasons at Grand Rapids Catholic Central, she recorded 23 wins or more six consecutive years, including back-to-back 27-1 marks in 2008-09 and 2009-10.  Her 2009-10 team claimed the Michigan High School Athletic Association (MHSAA) Class B State Championship.

* Looking Back To Last Year: Ferris State finished the 2011-12 season with a 23-7 overall record, which matched the school record set previously in 2006-07 for most wins in a campaign. The Bulldogs also advanced to the NCAA Division II Midwest Regional semifinals and claimed the schools second-ever GLIAC North Division Championship.

* New Assistant Coach: FSU landed another highly-successful coach from the Grand Rapids area when Charlette Muller was appointed to the assistant coaching position. Muller most recently spent the 2009-10 and 2010-11 seasons as the varsity head coach at Grand Rapids Christian High School where she led the Eagles to back-to-back regional finals appearances and a 44-5 (.900) overall record. Muller won 90 percent of her games as a varsity head coach and was the 2010 Associated Press Class A State Coach of the Year.

* Season Of Firsts: The women's basketball team was one of three FSU teams to win league championships last winter along with men's basketball and the Bulldog Hockey team, which claimed the CCHA Regular-Season crown and reached the national championship game at the 2012 NCAA Frozen Four.

* $10K Shootout: This season, one lucky Bulldog fan will have a chance to win $10,000 at every conference home game as part of the Lake Osceola State Bank $10,000 Shootout.  One contestant will be picked at random for a chance to make a layup, free throw, three-pointer and half-court shot in 25 seconds.

* Key Win Mark: Ferris State's 23 wins a year ago matched its 23-9 mark while advancing to the NCAA-II Sweet Sixteen in 2006-07 for the most in school history.  Additionally, the Bulldogs' 17 league regular-season victories were the program's most in school history and topped the 16 wins set in 1999-00.

* Bulldog Notes: Ferris State made its fifth-ever NCAA Tournament appearance a season ago.  The Bulldogs eached the NCAA-II Sweet Sixteen and the regional final in 2006-07 at Romeoville, Ill. ....... Sophomore Kara Hess (Grand Rapids/Grandville) has played in six games to date this year for the Bulldogs and reached double-figure scoring for the first time against Tiffin (Dec. 8) with 11 points. She was a member of the FSU volleyball team this fall and helped the Bulldogs to the NCAA-II Midwest Regional Semifinals.

* Bulldog Tradition: The Ferris State women's basketball program, which starts its 38th season of varsity competition, has compiled a 489-488 (.501) all-time mark. The Bulldogs won their first 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 for the third time last year, has posted 10 wins or more in 14 of the last 15 seasons.

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

* GLIAC Player Of Week: FSU's Sarah DeShone was honored as the GLIAC North Division Player of the Week for the second time this season on Dec. 20. DeShone had both a game-high 24 points and a contest-best nine rebounds in the Bulldogs' 68-66 league road win at the University of Findlay(Dec. 15). She also hit the go-ahead jumper in the final minute to lift the Bulldogs to the triumph and converted nine-of-15 field goals along with making two-of-four three's and all four of her free throw attempts. On Monday (Dec. 17), DeShone posted 27 points on 9-of-12 shooting from the floor while adding five assists and four rebounds in FSU's 76-63 win at Hillsdale.  For the week, she averaged 25.5 points, 6.5 rebounds, 4.5 assists and 2.5 steals per contest.

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