Posted: Mar 01, 2018
The Ferris State University women's basketball squad has advanced to the semifinal round of the 2018 Great Lakes Intercollegiate Athletic Conference (GLIAC) Tournament and will face rival Grand Valley State on Saturday (March 3) at Kates Gymnasium in Ashland, Ohio. Tipoff is set for 4 p.m. (ET) with the winner advancing to Sunday's title game. Ashland University will host the league's final four teams.
There will be no local radio coverage for the game, but Ashland will provide a live 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.
Big Wednesday Win
Ferris State advanced to the conference semifinals for the first time since 2012 with an impressive 67-57 road win over nationally 20th-ranked Michigan Tech on Wednesday (Feb. 28) night in Houghton. The seventh-seeded Bulldogs topped the second-seeded Huskies and led most of the way. Senior guard Leah Humes tallied a team-high 19 points while senior center Rachel McInerney finished with 16 points and 14 rebounds.
First Berth In Five Years
The Bulldogs are midst their first appearance in the conference tournament since 2013. Ferris State has posted a 11-13 overall record in 15 league women's basketball tournament appearances. FSU has finished as the tournament runner-up three times and reached the semifinal round in now eight of its 15 trips to the league event.
Double-Digit Win Season
The Bulldogs' 15 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 15 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.
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 win over Purdue Northwest marked the 10th time this year in which the Bulldogs had scored more than 80 points, 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 took place on Wednesday with the winners advancing to the GLIAC Tournament Semifinals and Finals on Saturday and Sunday, March 3-4. The nation's #1 team, Ashland University, will host the semifinals/finals this weekend and the top-seeded Eagles will face fifth-seeded Northwood in the first semifinal. The title game is on Sunday in Ashland at 3 p.m. (ET). 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.
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 .... Wednesday night's quarterfinal win marked FSU's first road victory over Michigan Tech since the 2011-12 campaign ..... The Bulldogs will be playing in their eighth GLIAC Semifinal this weekend, but have never won the conference's postseason crown.
Series History vs GVSU
GVSU holds a 64-28 advantage heading into Saturday's 93rd encounter. The Lakers have claimed 22 of the last 32 series' matchups to date. Last year, the Lakers won both matchups by scores of 85-38 in Allendale and 68-49 in the regular-season finale in Big Rapids. Overall, Grand Valley State has now captured the last nine games with FSU's last victory coming by a 59-56 count in Big Rapids nearly four years ago (2/27/14). FSU has won seven of the last 23 matchups overall heading into Saturday's clash. FSU battled the Lakers close in last Saturday's regular-season finale in Big Rapids before falling 77-64 to GVSU.