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Franko House had seven points and eight rebounds Saturday versus Toledo.
Courtesy: BSU Photo Services

Men's Basketball Hosts Eastern Michigan Wednesday

Courtesy: Ball State Athletics
         
Release: February 11, 2014
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The Ball State men’s basketball team plays host to the top defense in the Mid-American Conference when Eastern Michigan visits Worthen Arena for a 7 p.m. tipoff Wednesday.

The game will be televised by Ball State Sports Link and will air on Comcast Indiana (channel 81) and Comcast Michigan.

Ball State (4-17, 1-9 MAC) and Eastern Michigan (13-10, 5-5 MAC) split two meetings last season. The Eagles enter Wednesday’s matchup first in the league in a number of categories, including scoring defense and field goal percentage defense.

Game Information
Ball State vs. Eastern Michigan
Wednesday, Feb. 12 at 7 p.m. ET -- Worthen Arena (Muncie, Ind.)

Live Coverage
• Television: Ball State Sports Link (live on Comcast Indiana 81 and Comcast Michigan); Play-by-play: Luke Martin; Analyst: Torey Fox; Sidelines: Connor Onion
• Radio (Flagship): Ball State Radio Network (104.1 FM WLBC); Joel Godett (play-by-play); David Eha (analyst)
• Radio (Student): Sports Link Radio (91.3 FM WCRD); Sean Stewart (play-by-play) & Petar Hood (analyst)
• Internet: Live video and audio available through the Ball State All Access package at ballstatesports.com; Live stats also available.

What You Need to Know 
• Ball State continues its three-game home stand Wednesday against Eastern Michigan in the first of two meetings between the teams in the next month.
• The Cardinals are coming off an 80-73 loss to MAC leader Toledo in a game that was within a single possession in the final minute.
• Ball State has been balanced offensively with four players averaging 9.8 points per game or better: freshman Zavier Turner (12.4 ppg) and seniors Chris Bond (11.9), Majok Majok (11.2) and Jesse Berry (9.8).
• Majok owns eight double-doubles on the season and is one of 16 players nationally averaging a double-double at 11.2 points and 10.0 rebounds per game. His rebounding average ranks 18th in the country.
• Turner has moved into 10th place on Ball State’s all-time freshman scoring list with 260 points this year.
• Freshmen have accounted for better than 40 percent of Ball State’s minutes and scoring, and the Cardinals have started three rookies for much of the year.
• Ken Pomeroy rates Ball State’s non-conference schedule No. 37 in the country and its overall schedule No. 68. The Cardinals have played only four teams all season outside the Pomeroy top 200.
• Ball State is playing its 93rd season of basketball and its first under head coach James Whitford.

Scouting Eastern Michigan 
• Eastern Michigan (13-10, 5-5 MAC) enters play Wednesday third in the MAC West Division.
• All five of the Eagles’ league losses have come against teams contending in the MAC East: Akron (twice), Ohio, Buffalo and Miami University. Three of those losses came by four points or fewer.
• Eastern Michigan comes to Muncie fresh off a 70-53 win over Kent State.
• Junior college transfer Karrington Ward leads the Eagles with 13.0 points and 6.8 rebounds per game, while Glenn Bryant (10.5) and Raven Lee (10.3) are also averaging double-figure scoring.
• Eastern Michigan tops the MAC team statistics in scoring defense (62.8 ppg), field goal percentage defense (.371), blocks per game (5.9) and steals per game (8.6).
• The Eagles played a challenging non-conference schedule that included games against Syracuse, Duke, Kentucky, UMass and Purdue.

The Series with Eastern Michigan 
• Ball State and Eastern Michigan will be meeting for the 94th time with the Cardinals leading 54-39 in the all-time series.
• Ball State is 23-17 against the Eagles in Muncie and 11-9 inside Worthen Arena, although Eastern Michigan has won four of its past five road games in the series.
• The teams split their two contests last year with Ball State winning 60-58 in Ypsilanti, Mich. (Jan. 9, 2013) and Eastern Michigan claiming a 56-50 victory in Muncie (Feb. 16, 2013).
• Wednesday’s meeting is the first of two this season between the MAC West Division rivals. They will meet again at Eastern Michigan on March 4.

Schedule Strength
• Ball State’s non-conference strength of schedule is ranked No. 37 in the country by Ken Pomeroy, while its overall SOS is No. 68.
• The Cardinals have played only four teams all year rated outside Pomeroy’s top 200.

Home and Away 
• Ball State has posted a 4-6 record at home this year but is still in search of its first road victory.
• The Cardinals’ shooting numbers have been virtually the same no matter where they play -- 40.0 percent at home and 39.7 percent on the road.
• The biggest difference has come on the defensive end of the floor, where Ball State is allowing opponents to shoot 50.2 percent overall and 39.8 percent from 3-point range on the road.
• At home, the Cardinals are holding opponents to 42.1 percent shooting and 24.8 percent from beyond the arc.

Cardinals Excel on the Boards 
• One of Ball State’s biggest strengths this season has been rebounding.
• The Cardinals own a +3.3 average rebounding margin for the season, which ranks third in the MAC behind only Toledo (+4.9) and Northern Illinois (+3.6).
• In league play, Ball State has a +2.4 average rebounding margin, which also ranks third in the conference.
• The Cardinals have outrebounded all but three of their MAC opponents: Western Michigan (36-34) on Jan. 26, Akron (34-28) on Jan. 29 and Buffalo (37-33) on Feb. 5.
• Saturday Ball State held a 39-33 advantage against Toledo, which leads the league in rebounding margin.

Turnovers Telling the Story 
• Ball State has been prone to high turnover numbers this season.
• The Cardinals are turning the ball over more than any team in the MAC at 17.0 per game.
• Ball State has held its turnovers to 13.5 per game in its wins compared to 17.8 in its losses.
• The Cardinals turned it over a season-low 10 times in the Jan. 3 victory over Oakland City and a season-worst 23 times in the Dec. 17 loss at Marquette.

Finding Lineup Consistency 
• Ball State used a different lineup for the first time in 11 games Saturday against Toledo when Jesse Berry started at the No. 2 guard instead of Mark Alstork.
• The Cardinals utilized six different lineups in the first 10 games of the season but then settled on the same one for 10 in a row. During that stretch, they started three freshmen -- guards Zavier Turner and Alstork and forward Franko House -- along with two seniors -- forward Chris Bond and center Majok Majok.
• Bond has started all 21 games this season, while Turner and Majok have each made 20 starts.

Bond Having His Best Season Yet 
• Senior forward Chris Bond is averaging a career-high 11.9 points per game in his final season for the Cardinals.
• Bond has reached double figures in 11 of the past 13 games and averaging 13.0 points per game over that stretch.
• He scored a career-high 20 points earlier this year against Southeast Missouri and has reached 16 points in six games.

Ball State’s Iron Man 
• Senior forward Chris Bond has made 52 consecutive starts dating back to the last game of the 2011-12 season.
• Bond is the only Ball State player to start every game this season and was one of only two (Jauwan Scaife) to start all 30 a year ago.
• He has started 90 games in his career, including all 79 in which he has played over the past three seasons.

Bond Keeping Good Company 
Chris Bond now owns career totals of 935 points, 547 rebounds and 142 steals.
• In surpassing 500 career rebounds Jan. 15 at Ohio, Bond became only the second player in Ball State history with at least 800 points, 500 rebounds and 125 steals in a career.
• Bonzi Wells (1994-98) is the other. He ended his career with 2,485 points, 843 rebounds and 347 steals.

Majok One of the Nation’s Best on the Boards 
• Senior center Majok Majok ranks 18th nationally in rebounding at 10.0 boards per game. Only Buffalo’s Javon McCrea (10.2) averages more among MAC players.
• Majok owns 14 double-digit rebounding games this season, including a career-best 18-rebound effort Jan. 3 against Oakland City.
• Majok led the MAC last year and ranked 18th nationally at 9.8 rebounds per game.

Majok Majok’s Double-Doubles    
Majok Majok is one of 16 players in the country averaging a double-double at 11.2 points and 10.0 rebounds per game.
• The last Cardinal to average a double-double in a season was Theron Smith, who tallied 19.6 points and 10.9 rebounds per game in 2001-02.
• Majok owns eight double-doubles on the year and 17 for his two-year Ball State career.
• With 25 points and 18 rebounds in the non-conference finale versus Oakland City, Majok became the first Ball State player with at least 20 points and 15 rebounds in a game since Terrance Chapman did it in a January 2005 game at Eastern Michigan.
• For his two-year Ball State career, Majok is averaging 10.9 points and 9.9 rebounds per game.

Berry Nearing 3-Point Record 
Jesse Berry is closing in on the school record for career 3-pointers. He ranks third all-time with 196 makes and already owns the school record with 588 career 3-point attempts.
• Former Ball State teammate Jauwan Scaife set the school record for 3-pointers last year, finishing his career with 203 treys. Patrick Jackson (1998-2002) is second with 202.
• Berry matched his career-high earlier this season with six 3-pointers Dec. 30 at James Madison.

Berry Reaches 1,000 
Jesse Berry surpassed 1,000 points for his career Nov. 30 at Cleveland State. He now owns 1,117 career points, the most of any current Ball State player.
• Berry is the 27th member of Ball State’s 1,000-point club. Former teammate Jauwan Scaife, now a graduate student manager, became the 26th member last season.

Turner from Beyond the Arc   
Zavier Turner ranks second in the MAC in 3-point percentage (.421) and third in the league in 3-pointers per game (2.1).
• Turner has hit at least three 3-pointers in nine of the Cardinals’ 21 games, including a career-high four against Marquette and Miami.

More Turner Rankings    
Zavier Turner also ranks in the top 20 in the MAC in minutes per game (32.2, 6th), assists per game (3.2, 7th) and points per game (12.4, 18th).
• He leads MAC freshmen in each of those categories (including the ones in the previous note).

Historical View of Turner’s Numbers  
Zavier Turner is climbing Ball State’s all-time chart for scoring by a freshman. He ranks 10th on the list with 260 points and is 15 points shy of Duane Clemens (1996-97) for ninth.
• Turner, who leads Ball State with 12.4 points per game, has reached double figures a team-high 15 times this season.
• Earlier this season, Turner became the first Cardinal with at least 17 points and at least four assists in the first three games of a season since Larry Bullington in 1973-74 and just the second to accomplish the feat since Ball State began tracking assists in 1973.
• He became the first Ball State freshman with at least 17 points in the first three games of a season since Jim Fields in 1975-76 and just the second since freshmen became eligible for varsity competition in 1972.

Alstork’s Big Night at Kent State   
• Jan. 11 at Kent State, freshman guard Mark Alstork became the first player since 2008 to lead Ball State in points, rebounds and assists in a game. Alstork finished with career highs of 15 points and 10 rebounds and matched his career best with five assists.
• The last Ball State player to accomplish the feat was Peyton Stovall on Jan. 16, 2008 against Western Michigan. Stovall led the team with 18 points and tied for team-high honors with seven boards and one assist.

Youth and Experience 
• Ball State’s lineup this season is heavy on both experience and youth.
• There are only two scholarship players on the Cardinals’ roster outside the freshman and senior classes, so those two classes account for the majority of the minutes on the floor.
• Ball State’s freshmen have stepped in to make an immediate impact, accounting for more than 40 percent of the team’s minutes and scoring.

Persistent Crowder Gets His Chance    
• Ball State walk-on senior guard Kindon Crowder has seen action in 10 games, including nine of the past 14. He played a season-high 14 minutes off the bench Feb. 18 versus Miami.
• Crowder is a former team manager for the Cardinals who first earned a roster spot as a practice player a year ago.
• He played high school basketball his freshman year at St. Francis de Sales in Chicago but did not play his final three seasons at Munster High School in Indiana.

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