"PACK THE HOUSE" NIGHT PART OF SATURDAY'S RIVALRY SHOWDOWN
Basketball Doubleheader To Be Televised Live For First-Time At Jim Wink Arena
Fans are encouraged to wear "white" and a number of special activities are planned as Ferris State University attempts to "Pack The House" for the first time Saturday (Feb. 23) evening for the school's regular-season men's and women's basketball finales versus archrival Grand Valley State inside Jim Wink Arena at Big Rapids, Mich.
As part of the night's events, both the women's and men's games will also be televised live from Wink Arena for the first-time ever. The women's game tips off at 5:30 p.m. (EST) with the men's game to follow at approximately 7:30 p.m. (EST). Tickets for the doubleheader will be sold at the door starting one hour prior to tipoff.
The games will be televised live by the Ferris Television and Digital Media Production program and can watched live in the Big Rapids area on Channel 22 via Charter Communications. They will also be streamed free live over the internet with links available on FSU's official athletics website at www.ferris.edu/sports prior to game time.
A "Basketball Gameday Live" atmosphere will be established as the broadcast will feature a live half-hour pregame show prior to the men's contest in front of the "Dawg Pound" student section. The department hopes to revitalize the student section for the doubleheader by offering free pizza and t-shirts to all current FSU students with identification as supplies last. These items will be handed out during the women's game.
Pom-poms, fan signage and Bulldog tattoos will also be distributed during the Great Lakes Intercollegiate Athletic Conference (GLIAC) doubleheader. Again, fans are also asked to wear white as a "White Out" effort will be established.
Additionally, a "Bulldog Idol" competition sponsored by the Ferris Idols along with Student Leadership and Activities will take place during halftime of both contests with the winner earning the right to perform at this spring's Ferris Fest. A raffle for all eligible FSU students in attendance will be held with the winner receiving a free upgrade to a private room sponsored by Student Housing. Free tshirts and coupons for haircuts will be offered by SportClips, a barbershop franchise located in Grand Rapids, and they will be on site providing haircuts and massages to lucky fans throughout the night. A special prize will also be given to the Ferris RSO (Registered Student Organization) with the most members in attendance.
Former Bulldog men's basketball player and FSU alumnus Paul Doyle will serve as an honorary captain during the men's game and be honored prior to the contest.
"This is a university-wide effort and could result in being one of the largest events we've ever had of this kind," said Ira Childress, executive director of the FSU Alumni Association. "It's exciting to have an opportunity to put this together and it should be a great night.
"We look forward to everyone coming out and showing their Bulldog pride in a rivalry game of this magnitude."
Ferris nearly sold out the 2,300-seat facility when the Lakers came to town last season (Feb. 24) as a crowd of 2,120 fans witnessed the men's game won by GVSU 75-68 inside Wink Arena. The crowd represents the largest to ever witness a Bulldog basketball game in the nine-year old facility. The Bulldog women pulled out a thrilling 64-62 triumph over the Lakers the same night, which helped catapult Ferris into the NCAA Division II Sweet Sixteen last season.
Both the Bulldog and Laker women's teams have already clinched GLIAC Tournament berths as FSU enters the week only one-game behind Michigan Tech and Northwood in the divisional standings. The GVSU men's team, which is presently 28-0 and ranked second in the nation, could be trying to finish the regular-season unbeaten against FSU. The Bulldog men's squad still has an outside shot of earning its fifth-straight GLIAC Tournament appearance as a number of teams are still involved in a tight race for the final spots heading into this week's action. GVSU hosts Northwood Thursday (Feb. 21) evening and the Bulldogs visit Saginaw Valley State the same night for league doubleheaders prior to Saturday's showdown at Wink Arena.
The games against GVSU also represent FSU's annual "Senior Night" as four Bulldog student-athletes will play their final home games inside Wink Arena and be honored as part of the night's activities. They include men's basketball forward C.J. Van Wieren (Holland/West Ottawa) along with three women's basketball players in guard Katie Loosvelt (Trenton/Carlson), guard/forward Sam Johns (Allendale) and forward/center Rachel Folcik (Powers/Carney-Nadeau).
"In addition to the day being the last regular season chance for fans to say "thank you" for the efforts of four outstanding senior student-athletes, this day will also give the local basketball fans an opportunity to see outstanding competition between these two great rivals," said FSU Athletics Director Tom Kirinovic.