March 4, 2013

PREVIEW: Bulldog Men Seek First Road Win Over Findlay In GLIAC Tourney

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Click Here For Complete Game Notes (PDF)


* The Week Ahead:
The Ferris State University men's basketball team visits Findlay for a 2013 Great Lakes Intercollegiate Athletic Conference (GLIAC) Tournament Quarterfinal game on Wednesday, March 6, inside Croy Gymnasium at Findlay, Ohio.  Tipoff is set for 6 p.m. (ET).  FSU is the #6 seed with UF seeded third.

* Ticket Info: The Findlay women's team will host Saginaw Valley State at 8 p.m. following the men's contest. Due to the doubleheader, general admission tickets are $10 apiece or $2 for all students. Tickets will be sold at the door or please call (419) 434-6684 for more information.

* Media Coverage: The game will be carried live by the Bulldog Sports Network and Sunny 97.3 FM with Rob Bentley calling the play-by-play action from Findlay.  The Meijer Pregame show starts at 5:30 p.m. (ET).  The broadcast will also be accessible at www.FerrisStateBulldogs.com.  UF will provide a live subscription video webcast and live internet stats.  Visit the FSU Athletics website for a complete listing of links.

* 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/FerrisMBasketball or www.twitter.com/FerrisMBBALL to follow the periodic posts and tweet-by-tweet coverage with scoring updates.

* The Tourney Field: The other quarterfinal round games include Hillsdale (#5 seed) at Grand Valley State (#4 seed), Lake Superior State (#8 seed) at Wayne State (#1 seed) along with Northwood (#7 seed) at Michigan Tech (#2 seed). The Hillsdale-GVSU game will begin at 7 p.m. (ET) with the other two both 6 p.m. starts. The remaining teams will be reseeded after the quarterfinals and the semifinals/finals will be held Saturday and Sunday, March 9-10, at the site of the highest remaining seed. Wayne State is the top overall seed and would host the final four with a win over Lake Superior State.

* Playoff Notebook: The Bulldog men are 10-15 all-time in 13 previous tournament appearances and reached the GLIAC Tournament Championship game as the host institution two years ago before falling on the road at Michigan Tech last year in the quarterfinals ..... Ferris captured the 1997-98 league tourney title and advanced to the league tournament final two years ago before dropping a 73-71 buzzer beater to Wayne State at Jim Wink Arena in Big Rapids (3/6/11) .... FSU also advanced to the GLIAC Tournament title game in 2005-06 before dropping an 80-58 decision at Grand Valley State ..... FSU will be making its eighth appearance in the last nine years, including a fifth consecutive showing.

* The Records: Ferris State (14-12, 13-9 GLIAC) has won 10 of its last 16 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.
   
Findlay (19-7, 16-6 GLIAC) has won six of its last seven outings to date this season and is coming off a 74-66 home win in its final regular-season game on Saturday (March 2) over Hillsdale.

* The Coaches: Ferris State – Bill Sall (Calvin, 1994), 11th season, 176-152 (.537) - (3-13 vs. Findlay).  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.
   
Findlay – Charlie Ernst, (Findlay, 1992), 2nd season as head coach.  A longtime Oiler assistant, Ernst replaced retired head coach Ron Niekamp last season following 20 years as an assistant coach at UF.

* Tournament Notes: The tournament remains on campus sites this season for the 11th year in a row. Prior to the 2002-03 season, the four previous tournaments were held at a neutral site location, with the final three taking place at the DeltaPlex in Grand Rapids, Mich ....... The winner of this season's GLIAC Tournament will receive the league's automatic berth into the NCAA-II Midwest Regional Tournament slated for March 16-19 at a campus site to be determined.

* Key Tourney Notes: The Bulldogs had won two consecutive GLIAC Tourney Quarterfinal games with both coming over Saginaw Valley State in 2010 and 2011 prior to last year's quarterfinal loss at Michigan Tech ...... FSU holds a 6-8 overall mark to date in GLIAC Tourney play under head coach Bill Sall ....... Ferris beat Northern Michigan in the quarterfinals at home in back-to-back seasons in 2005 and 2006 before falling two-straight years on the road at Grand Valley State in 2007 and 2008 ...... Overall, the Bulldogs are 5-3 in GLIAC Tourney quarterfinal-round play since the league implemented the current eight-team format.

* Memorable Matchups: The Bulldogs have had memorable matchups against Findlay on the road at Croy Gymnasium each of the last two years.  A year ago (2/18/12), the Bulldogs battled the Oilers to the wire before falling 74-69.  Earlier this season, the two teams played an instant classic with Findlay eventually winning the game 82-81 in overtime before a large crowd at Croy Gymnasium. The Bulldogs appeared to be on their way to snapping Findlay's then 78-game conference regular-season homecourt winning streak dating back to 2004 in this year's first game before the Oilers came back from a 10-point deficit to earn the victory.

* GLIAC Tourney Berth: The Bulldogs have officially clinched a berth in the 2013 GLIAC Tournament.  The quarterfinals will be played on Wednesday, March 6, at four campus locations.  The top four seeds regardless of division will host opening-round games with the official pairings released by the league office at the conclusion of regular-season play.  The top remaining seed will host the semifinals/finals on March 9-10.

* Looking At The Oilers: Findlay owns a 19-7 overall record to date and won the GLIAC South crown with a 16-6 league mark.  UF has won six of its last seven outings to date this season under second-year head coach Charlie Ernst and is coming off a 74-66 home win in its final regular-season game on Saturday (March 2) over Hillsdale.  The Oilers own a 13-2 home mark this year and are paced in scoring by senior forward Greg Kahlig (17.4 ppg.).

* Home Court Advantage: The Bulldogs' recent loss to Saginaw Valley State (Feb. 23) snapped Ferris State's 10-game homecourt winning streak at Wink Arena, which was the league's longest. The Bulldogs concluded regular-season play with a 10-1 GLIAC mark at home.  Overall, Ferris State posted a 11-3 mark in Big Rapids this season with one of the losses at home coming to national power Winona State (Minn.).  The Bulldogs have picked up 11 of their 14 victories this season inside Wink Arena.

* Earlier This Year: FSU took nationally 24th-ranked  Findlay to the wire, but came out on the short end of a heartbreaking 82-81 overtime decision against the Oilers earlier this season (Dec. 15) at Croy Gymnasium. The Bulldogs appeared to be on their way to snapping Findlay's then 78-game conference regular-season homecourt winning streak dating back to 2004, but the Oilers scored in the final minute to force overtime. In overtime, the Oilers took a one-point lead, but missed two free throws with six seconds to play.  FSU drove the length of the floor but couldn't get off a potential game-winning shot as time expired in the GLIAC showdown. Ferris State led much of the way and held a lead as large as 10 points in the opening half as the Bulldogs shot 51% for the contest.  Senior forward Daniel Sutherlin had one of his best games as a Bulldog with a team-high 20 points and seven rebounds while sinking 10-of-11 free throws.  He was joined in double-digits by sophomore guard Drew Lehman, who added 18 points, seven rebounds and five assists.

* Series History: Findlay is presently 18-5 all-time against the Bulldogs and has won 17 of the last 20 series' meetings. UF had claimed 10-straight wins in regular season play over the Bulldogs prior to a loss in Big Rapids three years ago (2/6/10). However, FSU has since won two of the last four, including a 84-66 triumph two years ago (2/19/11) in Big Rapids, which clinched the GLIAC North Division Championship for FSU.  FSU suffered a close 74-69 setback a year ago (2/18/12) at Croy Gym despite leading by eight points at halftime.  This year, the Bulldogs fell in a heartbreaker 82-81 in OT at Croy after leading by 10 points in the game.

* In The Tourney: Ferris State is 1-1 all-time against Findlay in GLIAC Tournament play.  FSU beat the Oilers during the semifinal round in 2006 at Allendale, Mich., by a 64-62 score.  However, in 2010, the Oilers came back to post a 82-68 semifinal win over the Bulldogs at Croy Gymnasium.

* National Stats: This week, Ferris State ranks fourth nationally in fewest turnovers per game at 10.5 a contest.  The Bulldogs had only two turnovers at Northern Michigan (Feb. 9), which is believed to be a school record .... Senior guard Kenny Brown ranks 29th in the nation in free throw percentage at 87.0% this season.  Meanwhile, redshirt freshman center Jared Stolicker is 49th in the country in blocked shots (1.58 pg.) with the Bulldogs listed 41st nationally as a team in swats per contest this year with 4.1 per game.

* Did You Know?:  Ferris State has never won inside Findlay's Croy Gymnasium against the Oilers.  The Bulldogs have beat the Oilers three times under head coach Bill Sall and the three wins came either at home or a neutral site.  The Bulldogs' only other two series' wins came back in the early 1960's.  While FSU has not beat Findlay at Croy, the Bulldogs did pick up two NCAA Tournament wins in the building en route to the Sweet Sixteen in 2004-05.

Click Here For Complete Game Notes (PDF)

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