PREVIEW: Women's Hoops Set To Battle MTU & NMU At Home
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* The Week Ahead: The Ferris State women's basketball team remains at home for Great Lakes Intercollegiate Athletic Conference (GLIAC) action this week inside FSU's Jim Wink Arena as the Bulldogs wrap up a four-game conference homestand. The Bulldogs will begin GLIAC North Division play against Michigan Tech in a league doubleheader on Thursday, Jan. 10, at 8 p.m. (ET). Then, on Saturday (Jan. 12), FSU hosts Northern Michigan at 3 p.m. (ET).
* 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 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.
* 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 of the men's game. Rob Bentley and Sandy Gholston will call the action. A live audio broadcast is accessible online in addition to live internet statistics and a live pay-per-view video webcast. For a full listing of links, please visit FerrisStateBulldogs.com.
* 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/FerrisWBasketball or www.twitter.com/FerrisWBBALL to follow the periodic posts and tweet-by-tweet coverage with scoring updates.
* Last Weekend: Ferris State beat Malone and Walsh in the first-ever series' matchups last week inside Wink Arena. Junior forward Ashley Rando hit two free throws with eight-tenths of a second left to lift FSU to a 54-53 win over Malone on Thursday (Jan. 3) to start the New Year. The Bulldogs then topped Walsh in decisive fashion by a 77-59 count on Saturday (Jan. 5). Rando scored 17 points apiece in both games for the Bulldogs while junior guard Sarah DeShone notched 13 points against Malone and tallied a contest-best 23 points with nine rebounds in the win over Walsh. Sophomore forward Kara Hess totaled 10 points on Thursday while sophomore center Hannah Hoffman had 12 on Saturday.
* First-Place Bulldogs: Ferris State moved into sole possession of first place in the GLIAC North with the two victories at home last week. FSU currently leads second-place Michigan Tech by a game in the GLIAC North heading into Thursday night's showdown. The Bulldogs have won six games in a row and seven of their last eight to date this season.
* The Records: Ferris State (8-3, 7-1 GLIAC) finished the 2011-12 women's basketball season with a 23-7 overall record, which matched the school record set previously in 2006-07 for most wins in a campaign. Last year marked the 15th time in the last 16 seasons the Bulldogs have registered double-digit wins in a campaign. FSU also reached the semifinals at the NCAA Division II Midwest Regional Tournament last year.
Michigan Tech (8-4, 6-2 GLIAC) has dropped two of its last three games to date this year, including a 76-66 loss to nationally top-ranked Ashland in its most recent game at home last Saturday (Jan. 5). MTU was the 2010-11 national runner-up.
Northern Michigan (8-4, 5-3 GLIAC) has also lost two of its last three outings overall heading into Thursday's league road game at Grand Valley State, but the Wildcats beat Lake Erie 68-63 in their most recent contest on Saturday (Jan. 5) in Marquette.
* The Coaches: Ferris State – Colleen Lamoreaux-Tate (Aquinas), 1st season, 8-3 (.727) - (0-0 vs. MTU, 0-0 vs. NMU). A veteran coach with 26 years of experience on the sidelines and regarded as one of the state's top prep coaches prior to her FSU arrival, Lamoreaux-Tate most recently spent the last seven years as the varsity girls basketball coach at Grand Rapids Catholic Central High School where she guided the Cougars to a 167-19 cumulative record.
Michigan Tech – Kim Cameron, 3rd season. The former five-year MTU assistant coach took over in 2010-11 for departed head coach John Barnes and led the Huskies to a league crown and national runner-up showing. She was a four-year letterwinner at MTU from 2001-05.
Northern Michigan – Troy Mattson, 8th season. The former NMU longtime men's basketball assistant coach guided the Wildcats to an impressive 22-10 mark and a NCAA Tourney berth three years ago.
* Ticket Special: Fans purchasing tickets in advance directly thru the FSU Athletics Ticket Office in person for the Jan. 10 contest against Michigan Tech can receive two tickets for the price of one if bought prior to gameday. Call (231) 591-2888 or visit FerrisStateBulldogs.com for info.
* Saturday Kidz Day: Saturday will be Kidz Day at Wink Arena and all youth in grades K-12 will be admitted free with a paid adult. A number of activities will be featured directed towards kids, including a bounce house, locker room tour, arts and crafts table and more.
* Great Week For Rando: FSU's Ashley Rando shot 60.9% (14-23) from the floor in the two contests last week and was four-of-10 (40%) beyond the three-point arc. She averaged 17 points, 4.5 rebounds, 4.0 assists and 3.5 steals per contest. Her efforts were critical for the Bulldogs, who played without senior guard and third-leading scorer Kylie Muntz in both contests due to a death in her immediate family. Rando had 17 points in each contest, including the two game-winning free throws against Malone.
* Returning All-American: Ferris State's Sarah DeShone earned Women's Basketball Coaches Association (WBCA) Division II Honorable Mention All-America honors for her efforts on the hardwood last year. DeShone averaged 14.1 points and 4.6 assists per contest in 2011-12.
* Looking At The Opponents: Michigan Tech is 8-4 overall this season and sits one-game behind the Bulldogs in the GLIAC North heading into the week with a 6-2 league mark. Third-year head coach Kim Cameron's team has lost two of their last three games, including a 10-point setback to number one ranked Ashland last Saturday. Senior guard Sam Hoyt leads the way at 15.1 points per game ..... Meanwhile, Northern Michigan holds a current 8-4 record and a 5-3 league slate going into Thursday's road tilt at Grand Valley State. They've also dropped two of their last three outings, but beat Lake Erie 68-63 on Saturday. Seventh-year head coach Troy Mattson's team is paced by sophomore guard Lauren Gruber (12.7 ppg.).
* Coming Up Next: Ferris State hits the road as the Bulldogs visit Northwood on Thursday, Jan. 17, for a 8 p.m. (ET) league tilt in Midland. FSU then heads to Sault Ste. Marie to face Lake Superior State in GLIAC play on Saturday, Jan. 19, at 3 p.m. (ET).
* GLIAC Preseason Poll: Ferris State was picked to finish first in the 2012-13 GLIAC North Division Preseason Coaches Poll announced by the league office. Ashland claimed top honors in the South Division as both teams were chosen to repeat as divisional champions.
* Second GLIAC Crown: FSU finished with a 17-2 mark in GLIAC play last campaign and won the league's North Division Championship for only the second time in school history in addition to earning conference tournament runner-up honors.
* The Bulldog Roster: Ferris' 2012-13 roster includes two seniors, four juniors, five sophomores and three freshmen or redshirt freshmen. Nine of the 14 players are primarily frontcourt players while the remaining five are guards. Ten of the 14 players on the Bulldogs' roster hail from Michigan with three from Indiana and one from Ohio.
* New Head Coach: FSU Athletics Director Perk Weisenburger officially announced the appointment of Colleen Lamoreaux-Tate as the Bulldogs' new head coach on June 14. She became only the sixth head coach in the 38-year history of Bulldog women's basketball and replaced former head coach Tracey Dorow, who accepted the head coaching position at NCAA Division I Valparaiso University in April. In her seven seasons at Grand Rapids Catholic Central, she recorded 23 wins or more six consecutive years, including back-to-back 27-1 marks in 2008-09 and 2009-10. Her 2009-10 team claimed the Michigan High School Athletic Association (MHSAA) Class B State Championship.
* Looking Back To Last Year: Ferris State finished the 2011-12 season with a 23-7 overall record, which matched the school record set previously in 2006-07 for most wins in a campaign. The Bulldogs also advanced to the NCAA Division II Midwest Regional semifinals and claimed the schools second-ever GLIAC North Division Championship.
* New Assistant Coach: FSU landed another highly-successful coach from the Grand Rapids area when Charlette Muller was appointed to the assistant coaching position. Muller most recently spent the 2009-10 and 2010-11 seasons as the varsity head coach at Grand Rapids Christian High School where she led the Eagles to back-to-back regional finals appearances and a 44-5 (.900) overall record. Muller won 90 percent of her games as a varsity head coach and was the 2010 Associated Press Class A State Coach of the Year.
* Season Of Firsts: The women's basketball team was one of three FSU teams to win league championships last winter along with men's basketball and the Bulldog Hockey team, which claimed the CCHA Regular-Season crown and reached the national championship game at the 2012 NCAA Frozen Four.
* $10,000 Shootout: This season, one lucky Bulldog fan will have a chance to win $10,000 at every conference home game as part of the Lake Osceola State Bank $10,000 Shootout. One contestant will be picked at random for a chance to make a layup, free throw, three-pointer and half-court shot in 25 seconds.
* Key Win Mark: Ferris State's 23 wins a year ago matched its 23-9 mark while advancing to the NCAA-II Sweet Sixteen in 2006-07 for the most in school history. Additionally, the Bulldogs' 17 league regular-season victories were the program's most in school history and topped the 16 wins set in 1999-00.
* Statistical Notes: Sophomore Sarah DeShone is the GLIAC's second-leading scorer to date at 21.1 points per game. DeShone's 36 points shy of notching her 800th career point ..... Ashley Rando ranks third in the GLIAC in steals to date (2.6 pg.). She needs one board for her 150th career rebound ...... DeShone presently ranks sixth nationally in scoring heading into the week.
* Bulldog Notes: Ferris State made its fifth-ever NCAA Tournament appearance a season ago. The Bulldogs eached the NCAA-II Sweet Sixteen and the regional final in 2006-07 at Romeoville, Ill. ....... Sophomore Kara Hess (Grand Rapids/Grandville) has played in eight games to date this year for the Bulldogs and reached double-figures twice. She was a member of the FSU volleyball team this fall and helped the Bulldogs to the NCAA-II Midwest Regional Semifinals before joining the basketball team for the first time.
* Bulldog Tradition: The Ferris State women's basketball program, which starts its 38th season of varsity competition, has compiled a 491-488 (.502) all-time mark. The Bulldogs won their first previous 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 for the third time last year, has posted 10 wins or more in 14 of the last 15 seasons.
* All-GLIAC Honorees: Ferris State was well-represented on the All-GLIAC teams announced last season in conjunction with the postseason banquet at the league's final four. Sarah DeShone was one of 10 first-team honorees while both forward/center Christina Branch and guard Tricia Principe were second-team picks. Branch also claimed GLIAC All-Defensive Team recognition.
* Series History vs. MTU: MTU holds a 40-26 series edge entering Thursday's 67th encounter and has won 16 of the last 26 series' matchups overall. FSU has won the last three games overall, including a 63-60 upset over then eighth-ranked MTU in Big Rapids two years ago (1/20/11), which was the Huskies' only league setback in 2010-11. Last year, Ferris State recorded a 71-56 win over then seventh-ranked MTU in the first matchup at Wink Arena (Dec. 18) followed by a 68-65 road win in Houghton (Jan. 19).
* Series History vs. NMU: NMU holds a 41-25 series advantage although FSU has won 13 of the last 23 meetings overall. Ferris State has won three-straight matchups. The Bulldogs registered a 54-38 win in the first matchup last year at Wink Arena (Dec. 19) and then beat the Wildcats 78-71 in Marquette (Jan. 21).