The No. 15 Ashland Eagles travel to Big Rapids, Michigan in a huge Great Lakes Intercollegiate Athletic Conference showdown against the reigning champion Ferris State Bulldogs Thursday, Feb. 7.

How to watch:

The teams are set to tipoff off at 7:35 pm ET, and you can watch on ESPN 3.

TOURNAMENT WATCH: SleepersStandout freshman | Stat leaders | Undefeated teams| Top shooters

What’s at stake?

It hasn’t been an easy road for Ferris State in its title defense. The Bulldogs are currently 16-8 overall and 8-5 in the conference, second in the North Division. While they had an early season win over a very good Fairmont State team in the SCB Hall of Fame Classic, the Bulldogs are still searching for that signature win. Taking down Ashland would be a huge boost on their NCAA tournament resume.

PRINT YOUR BRACKET: Everything you need to know about the coming NCAA tournament

Ashland is 18-3 overall, tied atop the South Division at 10-3 with No. 25 Davenport. That’s just two wins shy of the Eagles 2018 total, a season that came to an end in the GLIAC tournament at the hands of these very same Bulldogs. Ashland and Davenport are trending in opposite directions. The Eagles have lost two in a row, while the Panthers have won five straight. A win over the defending champs on their home court could be the push the Eagles need to get back on track.

What to know:

9-24. That’s Ashland’s series record against Ferris State. While it’s certainly not a mark, the Eagles snapped a six-game losing streak by defeating the Bulldogs 91-88 at home on Dec. 1. That put Ferris State at .500 on the year. One big factor not in that equation for the Bulldogs was DeShaun Thrower, who was still playing football for the national runner-up Bulldog football team. Ferris State is 11-3 since. 

Stats Ashland Ferris State
Points per game 76.4 88.3
Points allowed per game 62.0 78.5 
Rebounds per game 39.2 39.7
Opponents FG% 39.8 44.2

The difference here is staring you right in the face. Ferris State is a top 15 scoring offense in DII basketball, while Ashland owns the No. 3-ranked scoring defense in the division. Thrower leads the offensive charge for the Bulldogs, averaging 16.1 points per game, but Ashland can’t focus solely on him, as there are five Ferris State players that average double-digit scoring.

A fun matchup will be in the paint. Both teams are so close in rebound margin that Ashland’s big center Drew Noble can play a big role causing problems for Ferris State’s big-men like Cole Walker and Jaylin McFadden underneath. Ashland has an advantage with Noble, Derek Koch, and Phil Fentsos all 6-7 or taller, whereas Walker is the lone Ferris State player over 6-5 in its regular rotation. This could very well be where the battle will be won.

Prediction:

Eagles’ head coach John Ellenwood is on the verge of career win 200 and he hopes it comes in Big Rapids. Though Ferris State is trending in the right direction, it seems like Ashland has the physical size to counter its quick and explosive offense.

Of course, in GLIAC play anything can happen. Ferris State has established themselves as tournament regulars the past few years, whereas Ashland has made it just once since 1991. But something seems like there may be a changing of the guard. Ashland’s defense tames Ferris State’s red-hot offense in a tight one.

Final score prediction: Ashland 78, Ferris State 75.

DII BASKETBALL NEWS: History | Top stories

Share.

About Author

Turner South Syndicate  is proud to publish SportsBuzzSource.com TSS is a group of common interest people coming together in the sports news world. Sports news has always been an evolving hobby of ours. We take pride in researching the latest breaking news and presenting stories to readers as a quick reference. Sources are from multiple outlets scoured by our highly enthused team of researchers. Presenting a navigational friendly website, we are dedicated to exhibit the latest stories in sports. Also, for mobile news check out our app, Sports Buzz Source, on Google Play Store. ​ Lastest app releases are Remind List+ and YoCelsi on iTunes. Remind List+ -- Record all your list in one place and get notifications on home screen. Check it out... ​ YoCelsi - Minimalist Weather and Local Sorm Conditions Social Browser - 3D iBrowser with integrated social media (Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, etc...)

Comments are closed.