PREVIEW: Bulldog Men's Basketball Hosts NU, LSSU In Key League Games

PREVIEW: Bulldog Men's Basketball Hosts NU, LSSU In Key League Games

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* The Week Ahead:
The Ferris State men's basketball team returns home for a pair of Great Lakes Intercollegiate Athletic Conference (GLIAC) contests this week inside FSU's Jim Wink Arena.  The Bulldogs host Northwood on Thursday, Feb. 14, in a Valentine's Day contest at 6 p.m. (ET) and then face Lake Superior State on Saturday, Feb. 16, at 12 p.m. (ET).  Fans are encouraged to "wear red" for Thursday's game versus Northwood as part of a "Red Out" effort.

* 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. A live audio broadcast will be accessible online in addition to live internet statistics and a live pay-per-view video webcast.  For a full listing of links, please visit

* 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 for more information.  They can also be bought online via 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.

* The Records: Ferris State (12-9, 11-6 GLIAC) has won eight of its last 11 games overall this season to date.  FSU posted a 16-11 overall mark a season ago while claiming a share of a second-straight GLIAC North Division Championship.  FSU won 16 of its final 24 outings of the campaign.  The Bulldogs won the GLIAC North Division Championship with a 16-3 record and recorded a 24-8 overall mark two years ago while reaching the NCAA Division II Sweet Sixteen in 2010-11.
Northwood (10-11, 9-8 GLIAC) currently trails the Bulldogs by two games for fourth place in the GLIAC North heading into the week. The Timberwolves though have won four games in a row and beat divisional leader Wayne State last week.  They are coming off a 85-78 road win at Lake Superior State on Saturday (Feb. 9).
Lake Superior State (12-9, 9-8 GLIAC) holds an identical record to Northwood in GLIAC North play going into Thursday's league road tilt at Grand Valley State. The Lakers have split their last four outings and dropped a 85-78 home contest to NU last Saturday.

* The Coaches: Ferris State – Bill Sall (Calvin, 1994), 11th season, 174-149 (.539) - (14-8 vs. NU, 13-8 vs. LSSU).  Sall was a two-time NCAA Division III All-American at Calvin College from 1985-90 and previously held assistant coaching positions at Calvin (1992-95), Ferris State (1995-98) and Hillsdale (1998-02).  He served as FSU's interim coach for a brief portion of the 1995-96 season.
Northwood – Jeff Rekeweg
, 3rd season at NU, 17th season overall.  The 2010 NAIA National Coach of the Year and former player at Nebraska, Rekeweg guided St. Francis (Ind.) to the school's first National Championship in 2009-10 prior to taking over at NU. During his time at USF, the team posted seven 20-win seasons, won at least 14 games in 12 of his 14 seasons and reached the NAIA Tournament three times.
Lake Superior State – Steve Hettinga, 6th season at LSSU. He guided the Lakers to an NCAA Division II Tournament appearance and divisional crown in 2008-09. Previously, he served as a head coach at Olivet and MacMurray (Ill.) along with coaching the Grand Rapids Flight
in the International Basketball League (IBL).

* Special Events: Thursday's contest will represent Resident Appreciation and Healthy Hearts Night.  The first 300 on-campus residents will receive a free shirt while the first 500 fans will get a rally towel. Fans are encouraged to "Wear Red" as part of a red out effort in support of heart disease awareness and National Heart Health month.  There will also be a special drawing at halftime for $3,000 worth of prizes.

* Second Meetings: This week's matchups will mark the second games this year for FSU versus both schools.  Northwood beat FSU 75-66 on Jan. 17 in Midland.  Ferris State then fell to LSSU on the road by a 69-58 count on Jan. 19 in Sault Ste. Marie.

* Winning Close Games: The Bulldogs have won four of their last five contests to date and all four have been determined by six points or less.  Two of the four went to the game's final play to determine the outcome with one other game a double-overtime affair.

* Last Year's Matchups: Ferris State swept both Northwood and Lake Superior State a year ago.  The Bulldogs rallied from a 21-point second half deficit to stun Northwood 69-64 in the first meeting in Midland (12/10/11) behind 29 points from Kenny Brown.  FSU then topped the Timberwolves 74-69 in an overtime thriller in Big Rapids (1/14/12) ..... FSU beat Lake Superior State 64-58 in Sault Ste. Marie (1/5/12) before pulling out a 73-64 home win in Big Rapids (2/2/12).

* Series vs. NU: Ferris holds a 54-25 advantage entering Thursday's 78th meeting with Northwood. The Bulldogs have claimed 12 of the last 17 matchups to date, including two wins in each of the last two campaigns prior to the loss earlier this year. FSU head coach Bill Sall currently owns a 14-8 mark to date versus NU.

* Series vs. LSSU: Ferris holds a 77-49 lead heading into Saturday's 127th meeting versus LSSU. The Bulldogs beat the Lakers twice in each of the last two seasons before falling this year in Sault Ste. Marie. Ferris head coach Bill Sall owns a current 13-8 career coaching mark against Lake Superior State. The Bulldogs have won 13 of the last 21 series' matchups overall.

* Coming Up Next: Ferris State will play a pair of conference games again next week.  FSU visits divisional leader Wayne State on Thursday, Feb. 21, for a 6 p.m. (ET) league tilt at the Matthaei Complex in Detroit.  The Bulldogs then return home to host Saginaw Valley State in their annual Senior Day game on Saturday, Feb. 23, starting at 1 p.m. (ET).  After the two games next week, the Bulldogs close out the regular-season on Saturday, March 2, at Grand Valley State in Allendale beginning at 6 p.m. (ET).

* National Stats: This week, Ferris State ranks second nationally in fewest turnovers per game at 10.1 a contest.  The Bulldogs had only two turnovers at Northern Michigan last Saturday, which is believed to be a school record.  FSU finished with five turnovers at Michigan Tech after posting none in the opening half of play .... Senior guard Kenny Brown ranks seventh in the nation in free throw percentage at 90.4% this season.  Meanwhile, redshirt freshman center Jared Stolicker is 46th in the country in blocked shots (1.67 pg.) with the Bulldogs listed 50th nationally as a team in swats per contest this year with 4.0 per game.

* Looking At The Opposition: Northwood shared the divisional crown with the Bulldogs a year ago and has won its last four outings to date this year under Jeff Rekeweg.  The Timberwolves are 10-11 overall and 9-8 in the GLIAC following a 85-78 road win at Lake Superior State last Saturday (Feb. 9).  They are paced in scoring by senior forward Wes Wilcox (13.9 ppg.) ..... Lake Superior State is currently 12-9 overall and tied with Northwood at 9-8 in the GLIAC going into a league road game on Thursday night versus Grand Valley State. The Lakers have split their last four contests overall under head coach Steve Hettinga and are coming off a 85-78 league setback to NU at home.  Junior guard Derek Billing paces LSSU in scoring (16.6 ppg.).

* Early Start Saturday: Saturday's game times versus Lake Superior State are one hour earlier than normal due to the Ferris State men's ice hockey's nationally-televised regular-season home finale against Bowling Green State, which begins at 5:05 p.m. (ET) and will be televised live by Fox Sports Detroit as part of Warrior "Hockey Day In Michigan".

* Home Court Advantage: Ferris State has presently won each of its last eight home contests this season after its win over Grand Valley State (Feb. 2) and owns a current 8-0 mark inside Jim Wink Arena in league home games this year.  Overall, Ferris State holds a 9-2 mark to date in Big Rapids this season with one of the losses at home coming to national power Winona State (Minn.).  The Bulldogs have picked up nine of their 12 victories this season inside Wink Arena to date.

Click Here For Complete Game Notes (PDF)