A record crowd of 2,430 fans were on hand Saturday (Feb. 23) evening as the Ferris State University men's and women's basketball teams hosted rival Grand Valley State inside FSU's Jim Wink Arena at Big Rapids, Mich.
The 2,430 fans established a modern Wink Arena record as it represented the first FSU basketball sellout in the nine-year history of the facility and came on "Pack The House" night for the rivalry matchup. It was also played in front of the first-ever live television audience from the arena as FSU "filled up the Wink and made history" for the Senior Night and Great Lakes Intercollegiate Athletic Conference (GLIAC) regular-season finale doubleheader.
Saturday's official women's halftime attendance of 1,640 fans for the "White Out" also represented the largest crowd ever to watch the FSU women play in the 2,400-seat facility.
The Bulldog men's squad battled the nation's second-ranked and unbeaten Lakers close for much of the game before dropping a 81-67 decision as GVSU concluded regular-season play with a perfect 30-0 mark and became the first team in league history to record an 18-0 conference mark. FSU's women's squad suffered a narrow 69-62 loss while playing without senior All-America forward/center Rachel Folcik due to injury.
The previous record crowds at Wink Arena for a Ferris basketball game were established last season (2/24/07) against the Lakers as 2,120 fans witnessed the men's basketball contest and an estimated 1,200 fans were present for the women's game. FSU has broke the men's basketball attendance mark against GVSU each of the last three years as 1,710 fans watched the Bulldogs defeat the Lakers 79-63 during the 2005-06 season (12/8/05) at Wink Arena. In fact, four of the top six men's basketball crowds in the building's history have came against Grand Valley State.
The new Jim Wink Arena in the FSU Sports and Convocation Complex became the home of the Ferris State University basketball programs in the 1999-00 campaign and replaced Old Wink Arena. The arena is named after legendary men's basketball coach Jim Wink, who passed away Aug. 26, 1987, after winning a team-record 326 games at the helm.
The Ferris men's basketball team concluded the season with a 10-19 overall record and a 5-13 GLIAC slate following Saturday's setback. The FSU women, who are currently 16-11 overall and posted a 11-7 GLIAC regular-season record, will travel to Northwood for the GLIAC Tournament Quarterfinals Saturday (March 1) with tipoff set for 6 p.m. (EST) inside NU's Bennett Sports Center at Midland, Mich.