FERRIS BASKETBALL TEAMS HOST DIVISION III POWERS TUESDAY
The Ferris State University men's and women's basketball teams will host two of the nation's top NCAA Division III programs in an exhibition doubleheader Tuesday, Nov. 11, at FSU's Jim Wink Arena in Big Rapids, Mich.
The Bulldog women will square off against Hope College in the opening game of the doubleheader at 6 p.m. (EST) with the FSU men's team facing longtime West Michigan rival Calvin College in the 8 p.m. (EST) nightcap.
Standard regular-season ticket prices for the doubleheader will apply with general admission seats being sold for $7 per person. Ferris faculty/staff and student (K-12) rates are $5 while all current FSU students will be admitted free with identification. All tickets will be sold at the door prior to the contest.
Calvin and Hope College are traditional NCAA-III powers in both men's and women's basketball and the rivalry between the two institutions has been chosen by ESPN as one of the nation's top 10 greatest college basketball rivalries in all of collegiate hoops. Tuesday's doubleheader will give Bulldog fans a unique opportunity to see Ferris take on each school in the same evening.
The Ferris State women's basketball squad, which advanced to the NCAA Division II Sweet Sixteen for the first time in school history two years ago, wrapped up the 2007-08 season with a 17-12 overall record and placed tied for third in the Great Lakes Intercollegiate Athletic Conference (GLIAC) North Division with a 11-7 league mark. FSU 11th-year head coach Tracey Dorow returns nine letterwinners and four starters this season. The Bulldog women were chosen third in the 2008-09 GLIAC North Division Preseason Media Poll.
The Bulldog men's basketball team, which is guided by seventh-year head coach and former Calvin two-time All-American Bill Sall, welcomes back eight letterwinners and four starters from last campaign as part of its 16-player preseason roster. Ferris posted a 10-19 overall record last year after previously advancing to the NCAA Division II Tournament in both 2004-05 and 2005-06. FSU, which was listed 27th in the National Association of Basketball Coaches (NABC) Division II Preseason National Rankings, topped Cornerstone 74-73 in its exhibition opener last Thursday (Oct. 30) at Wink Arena.
The Hope women's team posted a 30-1 overall record in 2007-08, losing only to eventual national champion Howard-Payne (Texas) in a NCAA Division III quarterfinal tournament game. Head coach Brian Morehouse begins his 13th season at the helm of a team that has won 20 or more games a school-record 10 straight years and has recorded a 110-10 mark over the last four seasons. Ten letterwinners are back this year and the Flying Dutch women are the favorites to win the Michigan Intercollegiate Athletic Association (MIAA) although junior guard Philana Greene is the only returning starter.
Calvin's men's team finished the 2007-08 campaign 16-11 overall and in third place in the MIAA standings with a 9-5 conference mark. The Knights return six letterwinners this campaign and head coach Kevin Vande Streek's men's team has also been picked to win the conference this season. Senior guard Caleb Veldhouse, who averaged 17.2 points per game last year, was recently chosen as a Preseason All-American by Division III News.
Ferris' women's team holds a 2-2 all-time mark against Hope in regular-season contests and recorded a 65-43 road triumph in the most recent official game during the 1996-97 campaign. FSU and Calvin have squared off 82 times in men's basketball regular-season action with the Knights holding a commanding 65-17 series' advantage, but the Bulldogs registered a 78-64 road win in the last meeting three years ago (11/22/05). The Bulldog men own a 3-2 record against the Knights with Sall at the helm.
Tuesday's exhibition games will be the final tuneups for both Bulldog teams before they officially open the 2008-09 season on Saturday, Nov. 15. The Bulldog men will visit Great Lakes Regional opponent and preseason nationally fourth-ranked Northern Kentucky for a 1 p.m. (EST) afternoon clash inside NKU's new 10,000-seat state of the art Bank of Kentucky Center at Highland Heights, Ky. Meanwhile, the Ferris women's team officially starts its season the same day in the Kentucky Wesleyan Lady Panther Classic at Owensboro, Ky. FSU squares off against host Kentucky Wesleyan Saturday (Nov. 15) at 4:15 p.m. (EST) and will then take on Indianapolis Sunday (Nov. 16) in a 2 p.m. (EST) contest.