Feb 27, 2018
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The Ferris State University women's basketball squad will square off against the Michigan Tech Huskies in the quarterfinal-round of the 2018 Great Lakes Intercollegiate Athletic Conference (GLIAC) Tournament on Wednesday (Feb. 28) night inside MTU's SDC Gymnasium in Houghton, Mich. Tipoff is set for 5:30 p.m. (ET).
There will be no local radio coverage for the game, but MTU will provide a live pay-per-view audio and video webcast along with live internet statistics. FSU fans can also follow @FerrisWBBALL on twitter for live in-game updates. For a complete listing of links, please visit FerrisStateBulldogs.com.
First Berth In Five Years
The Bulldogs will be making their first appearance in the conference tournament since 2013. Ferris State has posted a 10-13 overall record in 14 previous league women's basketball tournament appearances. FSU has finished as the tournament runner-up three times and reached the semifinal round in seven of its 14 previous trips to the league event.
Double-Digit Win Season
The Bulldogs' 14 wins to date this season are the school's most since the 2012-13 campaign. FSU had not achieved 14 or more wins since reaching the NCAA Tournament in 2011-12 when the Bulldogs finished with a 23-7 mark. The 14 wins this year have more than doubled the number of victories in each of the last two seasons to date. Ferris State concluded its regular-season slate with a 10-6 mark at home this season.
A New Era
A Michigan native and former NCAA Division I head coach returned to her home state to guide the Ferris State women's basketball program as Kendra (Harris) Faustin became the Bulldogs' new head coach prior to the 2015-16 season, replacing former head coach Colleen Lamoreaux-Tate after three years at the helm. Faustin, who competed collegiately in the Great Lakes Intercollegiate Athletic Conference (GLIAC) at Lake Superior State and later served as an assistant coach within the league at Hillsdale, brings considerable NCAA Division I head coaching experience to the position after having served the previous eight years as the head coach at Niagara in Lewiston, N.Y. She became the seventh head coach in the 41-year history of Bulldog women's basketball.
The FSU Lineup
Third-year head coach Kendra Faustin, who formerly was the head coach at NCAA Division I Niagara University, welcomed back 10 squad members this season from last year's squad. The Bulldogs also added five talented freshmen to the roster with three having played significant roles at various times this season.
Michigan Tech won both regular-season matchups against the Bulldogs this year, beating FSU 80-77 in a close matchup on Jan. 11 in Big Rapids before scoring a 80-63 win at home in Houghton on Feb. 15. Overall, Michigan Tech heads into the quarterfinal round with a 23-4 overall mark and won the GLIAC North Division with a 17-3 GLIAC ledger.
First Team Academic All-District
Ferris State senior center Rachel McInerney was named to the 2018 College Sports Information Directors of America (CoSIDA) Academic All-District First Team. The 2017-18 CoSIDA Academic All-District Men's and Women's Basketball Teams recognize the nation's top student-athletes for their combined performances athletically and in the classroom. McInerney was among six honorees in the district.
Bulldog senior center Rachel McInerney (Saginaw/Nouvel) and sophomore guard Riley Blair (Dearborn/Divine Child) were both chosen to the GLIAC Preseason North Division First Team. Last year, McInerney garnered All-GLIAC laurels for the second time in her collegiate career after leading the Bulldogs in both scoring and rebounding.
Leading The Way
Senior Rachel McInerney continues to lead the way for the Bulldogs this season as she ranked among the GLIAC leaders in several categories. McInerney finished as the league's leading rebounder (9.6 rpg.) in the regular season and was also fourth in scoring (16.6 ppg.) this campaign.
The Scoring Pace
FSU's 83 points last week in a home win over Purdue Northwest marked the 10th time this year in which the Bulldogs had scored more than 80 points in a contest, including twice over the 100-point mark this season.
The Book On Faustin
During her eight seasons as Niagara's head coach, Kendra Faustin recruited and coached 10 All-Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference (MAAC) players, one MAAC Sixth Player of the Year, two MAAC Rookie of the Years, four All-MAAC Rookie Team players and more than 40 MAAC All-Academic Team student-athletes. Three former players also went on to compete in professional basketball and the program compiled a perfect score in the NCAA's Academic Progress Rate (APR) under her direction.
The 2010 MAAC Coach of the Year, Faustin directed the resurgence of the Niagara women's basketball program in the 2011-12 and 2012-13 seasons as the Purple Eagles earned back-to-back 9-9 marks in the MAAC as well as two postseason victories in each conference tournament. The squad's 15 victories in 2012-13 were the most for the program in nearly a decade and the team's semifinal league tournament finish marked the first time in program history that Niagara made consecutive MAAC Tournament semifinal appearances.
In her tenure at Niagara, Faustin led the squad to three MAAC Tournament Final Four showings in a four-year span and the squad's cumulative GPA was 3.0 or higher in each of her eight seasons at the helm. She also helped facilitate the most financial giving in program history in 2013 and led all aspects of the NCAA Division I women's basketball program. In 2011-12, her squad ranked as the fifth-most improved team at the NCAA-I level on the floor.
The Assistant Coach
Ferris State University women's basketball head coach Kendra Faustin announced the appointment of Michigan native Sharonda Hurd as the program's assistant coach prior to the 2015-16 season. A former Central Michigan University women's basketball standout, Hurd had spent the past five seasons as the assistant coach at Olivet College, where she also served as the Comets' senior women's administrator for four years. In 2013-14, Hurd helped guide the Comets to a school all-time best 22-4 overall record under head coach Nicole Burford as Olivet placed second in the MIAA standings and was ranked in the D3hoops.com Top 25 poll for the first time in school history. While at CMU, Hurd was a four-year letterwinner on the basketball team and served as co-captain during her senior season. As a collegian, Hurd led the Chippewas in rebounding three years and was honored as the Dee Pommerank Award recipient for Most Improved Player. She was CMU's second-leading scorer as a senior.
The GLIAC Tourney
Four quarterfinal-round games will be played on Wednesday with the winners advancing to the GLIAC Tournament Semifinals and Finals on Saturday and Sunday, March 3-4. The other first-round matchups in the GLIAC Tournament on Wednesday include top-seeded Ashland hosting eighth-seeded Davenport, third-seeded GVSU playing host to sixth-seeded Northern Michigan along with fourth-seeded Wayne State hosting fifth-seeded Northwood. As the number one seed, Ashland would host the GLIAC Semifinals and Finals in women's basketball next Saturday and Sunday (March 3-4) with a first-round win. The winner of the GLIAC Tournament receives an automatic bid into the NCAA Division II Midwest Regional Tournament slated to be held March 9-12 at a campus site yet to be determined..
GLIAC Player Of The Week
Ferris State's Rachel McInerney has been tabbed twice this season as the GLIAC North Division Player of the Week. Her first honor came after she had a big week for the Bulldogs as FSU split two games against Upper Peninsula foes Michigan Tech and Northern Michigan in early January inside FSU's Jim Wink Arena. The standout center tallied 30 points and 16 rebounds with two blocks, two steals and an assist as the Bulldogs nearly upset then 16th-ranked Michigan Tech in a 80-77 setback. McInerney had another big performance with a team-high 19 points, 11 rebounds, four assists, two steals and a block as FSU led for another 37 minutes in a 62-52 triumph over Northern Michigan. Most recently, she earned the honor after the Bulldogs' decisive 75-59 GLIAC home win over visiting Lake Superior State on Jan. 28. She paced FSU with a game-high 18 points to go with seven rebounds, three blocks, two assists and two steals in the Bulldog victory.