Luke Rinne, Director of Athletic Communications
ROMEOVILLE, Ill. – Lewis’ men’s basketball team opens play in the NCAA Tournament on Saturday taking on the eighth seeded Grand Valley State Lakers at Neil Carey Arena at 5 p.m. The Flyers enter the tournament as the No.1 seed in the Midwest Region with a record of 24-5 while Grand Valley is 19-12.
Last Time Out: Lewis fell in the semifinal round of the GLVC Tournament to fifth seeded Drury 69-67 in overtime last Saturday in Edwardsville, Ill. The Flyers led by as many as seven in the overtime but the Panthers scored the final points of the game to snap Lewis’ 12 game winning streak.
Select Company: The Flyers are one of only 19 teams in Division II that has both of their men’s and women’s teams playing in the NCAA Tournament. Of those 19 teams, four of them reside in the Midwest Region (Ashland, Drury, Lewis and Walsh). Lewis is also one of nine private schools to make the NCAA Tournament and of those teams the Flyers have the best combined seed of three (men one, women two).
A look at the Lakers: Grand Valley State stormed through the top three seeds of the GLIAC Tournament to claim their first tournament title since 2008, knocking off the top-seeded Davenport Panthers, 80-70, on Sunday. It was the seventh GLIAC Tournament title in program history and the third under head coach Ric Wesley.
The Lakers have won seven of their last eight games, holding their opponents to 70 points or fewer in all eight contests. The Lakers are 15-2 this season when their opponent scores 70 points or less.
Grand Valley has three starters averaging double figures in scoring and is led by Hunter Hale with 17.4 points per contest. Jake Van Tubbergen is contributing 14.2 points per outing and leads the team in rebounding with 6.9 per contest. Jeremiah Ferguson is adding 13.9 points per game and leads the team in assists with 103.
Series History: Saturday’s contest is the 15th all-time meeting between the Flyers and Lakers and the first since 2006. Lewis leads the all-time series, 8-6, but Grand Valley has won the last three meetings and four of the last five.
Up Next: Should Lewis win on Saturday it’ll advance to the Midwest Region semifinals on Sunday to take on the winner of the game between No. 5 Ashland and No. 4 Southern Indiana at 7:30 p.m.