Ferris looks to knock off conference leader Wayne State as the Bulldogs battle at home.
Following four straight victories at home, Ferris dropped back-to-back away games against division foes Northwood University and, most recently, Lake Superior State.
Ferris traveled to the Upper Peninsula to face a Lake Superior State team that, identically to Ferris, had a six game winning streak recently snapped by Northwood.
Even though the game was closely contested in the early going, Ferris players found themselves playing from behind for most of the game and eventually lost 69-58.
“We need to start playing with more heart,” Ferris senior guard Kenny Brown said. “We’re getting bullied.”
Brown leads the team with an average of 16.8 points per game, where he is ranked sixth among all Great Lakes Intercollegiate Athletic Conference (GLIAC) players.
“We need to also play with a lot more pride,” Brown said. “We need to understand that losing is unacceptable.”
Midway through the season, Ferris floats in the middle of the GLIAC North Division standings.
With only division opponents left on schedule, the Bulldogs will have to fight for contention in the North and a shot at making the playoffs.
The Bulldogs will host conference leader, undefeated Wayne State University. The Wayne State Warriors will look to continue their reign of dominance over the GLIAC.
The Warriors, led by senior captains Cole Prophet and Ian Larkin, are ranked first in both overall offense and overall defense in the GLIAC.
“They are solid at almost every position,” Ferris senior forward Daniel Sutherlin said. “They’re one of the most athletic teams in the conference.”
Sutherlin averages 12.1 points per game in conference matchups, and also leads the team in rebounds with 112 over a 16 game span. Sutherlin and Brown are the only two seniors on the young Bulldog team who look to upset the Warriors.
“If we can limit them to bad shots and slow them down offensively, we have a greater chance of beating them,” Sutherlin said.
Ferris head coach Bill Sall is in his 11th year leading the Bulldogs. In his tenure he has won four division titles and led Ferris to the NCAA Division II tournament three times, including a pair of regional championship appearances.
Sall has seen his fair share of tough games leading an underdog team against favored opponents and knows what it takes to walk away with a win.
“We are going to play hard and with a whole lot of passion,” Sall said. “We have to make sure that we go out and execute; we do that and we have a tremendous chance of winning.”
The Bulldogs host Wayne State on Thursday, Jan. 24 at 6 p.m. in the Jim Wink Arena.