WBB Notes: Lander Tipoff Classic (Nov. 19-20)
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* The Game: The Ferris State University women's basketball team hits the road for the first time in the 2011-12 regular season and will take part in the Lander Lady Bearcats Tipoff Classic in Greenwood, S.C. FSU faces South Carolina-Aiken on Saturday, Nov. 19, at 3 p.m. (ET) before taking on host Lander on Sunday, Nov. 20, at 4 p.m. (ET).
* Ticket Info: Ferris State home basketball tickets are sold on gameday at Wink Arena and are $7 for adults or $5 for FSU faculty/staff, senior (ages 65+) and students K-12. Current FSU students are admitted free by showing a valid student ID card. For more ticket info, please call the FSU Athletics Ticket Office at (231) 591-2888 or visit the official FSU website at www.FerrisStateBulldogs.com.
* Media Coverage: There will be no FSU broadcast coverage. However, live internet statistics and video are slated to be offered by Lander for both games and can be found online at www.FerrisStateBulldogs.com. Click on the "upcoming events" scoreboard tab for links.
* Follow On Twitter/Facebook: In addition to internet coverage, Bulldog fans can also follow most FSU contests this year via Twitter and Facebook. Please visit www.facebook.com/ferrisathletics or www.twitter.com/ferrisathletics to follow the posts and tweet-by-tweet coverage with periodic scoring updates.
* About Ferris State: Ferris State University is a NCAA Division II member school located in Big Rapids, Mich. The Bulldogs are a member of the Great Lakes Intercollegiate Athletic Conference (GLIAC). Big Rapids is located in West Michigan approximately 60 miles north of Grand Rapids or 40 miles west of Mount Pleasant, Mich. FSU also plays NCAA Division I men's ice hockey in the Central Collegiate Hockey Association (CCHA).
* GLIAC Preseason Poll: The Ferris State women's basketball squad was picked to finish fifth in the 2011-12 GLIAC North Division Preseason Media Poll. The Bulldogs received 83 points in voting by members of the media across the league. Defending national runner-up Michigan Tech was tabbed to win the division after claiming the league crown last year with Ashland picked first in the GLIAC South poll. FSU was the only team to beat Michigan Tech in league play a year ago (1/20/11) as the Bulldogs posted a 63-60 victory at FSU's Jim Wink Arena.
* Last Season: The Bulldog women's basketball squad wrapped up the 2010-11 campaign with a 13-13 overall record. Last year marked the 14th time in the last 15 seasons the Bulldogs have registered double-digit wins in a campaign. FSU placed fifth in the GLIAC North Division standings with an 8-11 league record.
* The Records: Ferris State (1-0, 0-0 GLIAC) won its season opener with a convincing 81-72 home win over Lewis (Ill.) last Saturday (Nov. 12) at FSU's Jim Wink Arena. Prior to the last two years, the Bulldogs had made 10-straight GLIAC Tournament appearances and advanced to the semifinals for the third-straight year in 2008-09.
South Carolina-Aiken (1-0, 0-0 PBC) opened its season with a 55-32 home win over Georgia College on Tuesday (Nov. 15) in Aiken, S.C. The Pacers are a Peach Belt Conference member and ranked 17th nationally by the WBCA. USC-Aiken was 27-6 overall last season and reached the NCAA-II Regional Semifinals.
Lander (0-0, 0-0 PBC) opens its season versus Barton (N.C.) in the tipoff classic on Saturday before facing FSU. The Bearcats have posted a 56-8 mark over the last two years, achieved a number one national rank and made two-straight NCAA-II Sweet Sixteen berths. They are ranked 10th nationally this season.
* The Coaches: Ferris State – Tracey Dorow (Western Michigan, 1996), 14th season, 210-156 (.574). Dorow presently ranks as Ferris' all-time winningest coach. She guided FSU to a 22-7 mark and the school's first NCAA-II Great Lakes Regional Tourney appearance in 1999-00. She spent three seasons as an assistant coach at Lake Michigan College (1994-97) and one season at Indianapolis (1997-98). She also directed FSU to an NCAA Tourney berth in 2003-04 and the NCAA-II Sweet Sixteen in 2006-07.
South Carolina-Aiken – Mike Brandt, 10th season, 23rd season overall, 421-234 (.643). Under Brandt, USC-Aiken has won at least 15 games in each of the last five seasons. They have won 20 or more in four of the last five campaigns.
Lander – Kevin Pederson, 7th season, 10th season overall, 207-97 (..681). Pederson led Lander to a school-record 29 wins a year ago and a second-straight Sweet Sixteen berth. He was the Peach Belt and WBCA Region 3 Coach of the Year in 2009-10.
* Ten Wins Or More: The Bulldogs have failed to win 10 games in a season only twice in the last 20 years and only once under coach Tracey Dorow. FSU had reached double-digit victories 13 consecutive seasons prior to the 2009-10 campaign, but responded by winning 13 games a year ago.
* Season Opening Win: FSU started off its 2011-12 campaign on a winning note as the Bulldogs defeated a regional opponent in Lewis (Ill.) last Saturday (Nov. 12) by a 81-72 count inside Jim Wink Arena in Big Rapids. The Bulldogs jumped out to a 45-29 lead at halftime and held a 20-point advantage with 16:34 to play en route to the victory. FSU received a game-high 30 points from sophomore guard Sarah DeShone, who was 10-of-14 from the floor and five-of-eight beyond the three-point arc. Senior forward Lindsey Pettit added 17 points in the win while sophomore forward Nikki Arner chipped in with 12 points and five rebounds.
* The Bulldog Tradition: The Ferris State women's basketball program, which starts its 37th season of varsity competition, has compiled a 462-481 (.489) all-time mark. The Bulldogs won their only GLIAC crown, advanced to their first NCAA-II Regional Tournament and recorded the nation's highest grade point average in 1999-2000. FSU, which claimed GLIAC Tourney runner-up honors in 1999-00 and 2003-04, has posted 10 wins or more in 14 of the last 15 seasons.
* Great Season: Ferris State advanced to the NCAA-II Great Lakes Regional Championship Game for the first time ever in 2006-07 and was ranked 25th nationally in the final 2006-07 USA Today/ESPN NCAA Division II Top 25 Poll. The Bulldogs, who prior to 2006-07 had never won a NCAA Tournament game, recorded back-to-back wins in their first two national tournament contests en route to the regional runner-up finish. Ferris also compiled a second-place tying 13-5 GLIAC finish.
* Coaching Staff: Ferris head coach Tracey Dorow returns the bulk of her coaching staff for the 2011-12 campaign. Kurt Westendorp returns for his second campaign as the assistant coach. He formerly spent three seasons as the assistant coach at NCAA Division III Albion. The Bulldogs' staff this season again includes Dorow's father, Rick Bloodworth, as a volunteer assistant coach for the sixth season. Former Bulldog players Becci Houdek and Caitlin Carmody are serving as student assistants.
* National Leader: Senior guard Tricia Principe's .925 free throw percentage in 2009-10 marked the best single-season effort in school history and led the country. Her 44 consecutive made free throws from Dec. 5 to Jan. 30 of that year also established a new school record. She connected on 86 of 93 attempts in '09-10. Along with her school-record streak of 44 make's, Principe also had another streak of 21 in a row the same season.
* Exhibition Win: Ferris State rallied back to beat Calvin by a 75-73 score in overtime last Tuesday night (Nov. 8) in exhibition play at FSU's Jim Wink Arena. FSU fought back from a 12-point deficit with six minutes to play to earn the victory. Sophomore guard Sarah DeShone led the Bulldogs with 20 points and six assists in the game while freshman forward Christina Branch added 19 points on an eight-of-11 shooting performance. The Bulldogs also received 12 points and six boards from senior guard Tricia Principe.
* Welcome Back: Ferris State, under 14th-year head coach Tracey Dorow, returns three starters from a year ago in the senior trio of guards Tricia Principe, Kelsey DeNoyelles and forward Lindsey Pettit.
* Exhibition Setback: FSU took the floor for the first time in 2011-12 and gave NCAA Division I Oakland all it could handle in a 80-75 exhibition setback on Oct. 29 at the Athletics Center O'rena in Rochester, Mich. The Bulldogs outscored the Grizzlies 38-35 over the final 20 minutes of action. Sarah DeShone paced Ferris State with a team-high 18 points in the contest and also distributed six assists.
* League Opener: FSU will have an extended break after returning from the Lander Tipoff Classic. The Bulldogs' 2011-12 GLIAC opener will be on Thursday, Dec. 1, when FSU visits Tiffin for a 6 p.m. (ET) league tilt in Tiffin, Ohio. Ferris State's next home contest after Saturday's game with Lewis won't be until Sunday, Dec. 18, when FSU hosts Michigan Tech in league play at Jim Wink Arena.