February 2, 2014

PREVIEW: Ferris State Visits Rival Grand Valley State For "Big Monday" Matchup

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Click Here For Complete Game Notes (PDF)


Big Monday: The Ferris State University men's basketball team visits West Michigan archrival Grand Valley State on Monday (Feb. 3) evening for a Great Lakes Intercollegiate Athletic Conference (GLIAC) showdown inside the GVSU Fieldhouse Arena in Allendale, Mich. Tipoff is set for 8 p.m. (ET).

Media Coverage: Monday's game 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 the women's tipoff. Rob Bentley and Sandy Gholston will call the action. In addition, a live audio broadcast will be accessible while GVSU will provide a video webcast along with live internet statistics. For a full listing of links, please visit FerrisStateBulldogs.com.

TV Broadcast: Monday's game at Grand Valley State will also be televised across Michigan on Comcast Channel 900 for those cable subscribers.

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.

This Past Week: Ferris State dropped a 79-62 decision at Wayne State on Thursday (Jan. 30) night in Detroit. The Bulldogs trailed by only a single point at halftime before a big WSU run in the second half. Saturday's (Feb. 1) home game versus Saginaw Valley State was cancelled due to an incident near the Ferris State campus and no make-up date has yet to be announced.

Close Setbacks: The Bulldogs suffered a pair of close setbacks at home last weekend in league play in games that went to the wire. A controversial foul call with 1.8 seconds left enabled Northwood to make two free throws and beat the Bulldogs 66-65 in Big Rapids last Thursday (Jan. 23). FSU then took GLIAC leader Lake Superior State to the final minute before falling 75-70 last Saturday (Jan. 25) at Wink Arena.

Later This Week: Following Monday's game at Grand Valley State, the Bulldogs will return home to host GLIAC North Division opponents Michigan Tech and Northern Michigan later this week. FSU hosts Michigan Tech on Thursday (Feb. 6) night at 8 p.m. (ET) inside Jim Wink Arena before facing Northern Michigan on Saturday (Feb. 8) in Big Rapids. Saturday's contest will mark the return of former Bulldog head coach Bill Sall, who is now the head coach at NMU.

Ticket Information: Ferris State home basketball tickets for this week's games 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.

First-Year Coach: First-year FSU head coach Andy Bronkema was elevated to the head coaching position in July after six years as an assistant coach under former Bulldog head coach Bill Sall, who is now the head coach at fellow GLIAC member Northern Michigan.

The Records: Ferris State (6-11, 5-8 GLIAC) will try to snap an eight-game skid on Monday night against the Lakers in Allendale after a 79-62 road setback to Wayne State on Thursday night prior to Saturday's cancellation. Prior to the current stretch, the Bulldogs had won six games in a row around the holiday break.
   
Grand Valley State (13-5, 9-5 GLIAC) has dropped three of its last five contests overall this season after originally opening the year by winning its initial nine games of the campaign. The Lakers are coming off a 69-64 overtime home loss to Wayne State on Saturday (Feb. 1) in overtime after posting a 88-76 league road win at Saginaw Valley State on Thursday (Jan. 30) evening.

The Head Coaches: Ferris State – Andy Bronkema (Cornerstone), 1st season, 6-11 (.375) - (0-0 vs. GVSU).  Bronkema takes over the Bulldog program this season following six years as an assistant coach, including the last three as the program's top assistant. A collegiate standout at NAIA Division II Cornerstone University in Grand Rapids, Mich., Bronkema was voted All-Wolverine Hoosier Athletic Conference (WHAC) three times and twice garnered NAIA Honorable Mention All-America laurels. He was a multi-sport prep standout at McBain (Mich.) High School.

Grand Valley State – Ric Wesley, (Central Michigan, 1980), 9th season. Wesley spent five years as associate head coach at Southwest Missouri State before taking over at GVSU. He also spent time as a NCAA-I assistant at Lamar and Iowa State. Wesley's directed GVSU to five national tourney bids, two Elite Eight showings and four league titles in his tenure.

Last year: Last season, with Bronkema as the Bulldogs' top assistant, Ferris State wrapped up the 2012-13 season with a 14-13 overall record and the Bulldogs reached the GLIAC Postseason Tournament for the eighth time in the last nine years, which ranks as one of the conference's top showings over the past decade.

Series History: Ferris holds a 52-48 advantage heading into Monday's 101st all-time meeting with rival Grand Valley State. A year ago, the two teams split a pair of matchups with FSU winning 59-58 in Big Rapids (2/2/13) before the Lakers claimed a 81-73 victory in the regular-season finale (3/2/13) in Allendale. Two years ago, the Bulldogs topped the Lakers twice with wins of 65-57 in Big Rapids (1/28/12) and 63-56 in the regular-season finale in Allendale (2/25/12), which clinched a share of the GLIAC North title.  Overall, the Bulldogs have won six of the last 11 matchups, including four of the past six. Prior to the win in last year's regular-season finale, the Lakers had not beat FSU since posting an 82-80 triumph at Jim Wink Arena on Feb. 26, 2011.

Looking At Grand Valley State: Grand Valley State holds a 13-5 overall record and is tied for third in the GLIAC North Division standings to date with a 9-5 league record.  The Lakers have dropped three of their last five games this campaign and are coming off a 69-64 overtime home loss to Wayne State on Saturday (Feb. 1) in Allendale.  Junior guard Ryan Sabin is averaging a team-best 15.1 points per game on the year for head coach Ric Wesley, who's now in his 9th season at the Laker helm.  Six of the Lakers' 13 wins have came at home where they are 6-2 to date this season.

A Year Ago: Ferris State won last year's initial matchup over the Lakers via a defensive stand on the game's final possession, which enabled FSU to win its eighth consecutive home contest and beat rival Grand Valley State for the third consecutive time as the Bulldogs prevailed 59-58 on Feb. 2 inside FSU's Jim Wink Arena. Bulldog senior forward Daniel Sutherlin converted a layup while driving into the heart of the Laker defense with 23 seconds remaining. After a pair of timeouts, the Lakers setup for the game's final play, but Breland Hogan's jumper in the lane rimmed out as time expired and FSU came out with the victory. Ferris State guard Kenny Brown heated up in the second half to finish with a team-high 16 points and five rebounds in the outing. He was joined in double figures by Sutherlin, who netted 14 points and six boards, along with Drew Lehman, who totaled 12 points, three rebounds and three assists. The Lakers bounced back to win the second matchup in Allendale by a 81-73 count (3/2/13).

Click Here For Complete Game Notes (PDF) 

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