Mid-American Conference West Division rivals Ball State and Central Michigan will become even more familiar with each other in the next week and a half.
The Cardinals visit the Chippewas Wednesday night for the first of two meetings in a four-game stretch. The teams will play again March 1 in Muncie. Wednesday’s 7 p.m. contest will be televised by the Ball State Sports Network.
Both teams enter the game a 1-11 in the MAC and looking for a jump start heading down the stretch in league play. Three weeks remain in the regular season as teams jockey for position in the MAC Tournament.
Ball State at Central Michigan
Wednesday, Feb. 19 at 7 p.m. ET – McGuirk Arena (Mount Pleasant, Mich.)
• Television: Ball State Sports Network; Joel Godett (play-by-play); Jerry Peirson (analyst). Affiliates: WIPB-TV (Muncie), HTSN, Comcast 247, Brighthouse 410 (Indianapolis), WHME 46 (South Bend), WANE 15.2 (Fort Wayne), WJTS 18 (Jasper)
• Radio (Flagship): Ball State Radio Network (104.1 FM WLBC); Jeff Weller (play-by-play)
• Internet: Live video and audio available through the Ball State All Access package at ballstatesports.com; Live stats available at cmuchippewas.com.
What You Need to Know
• Ball State heads back on the road to face Central Michigan after three straight games at home.
• The Cardinals will play four of their final six regular-season games on the road.
• Senior guard Jesse Berry broke the school record for career 3-pointers in Saturday’s 66-64 loss to Bowling Green, reaching 207 treys for his career to pass former teammate Jauwan Scaife’s record of 203.
• Berry (10.5 ppg) is one of four Ball State players averaging double-figure scoring, joining freshman Zavier Turner (12.2 ppg) and seniors Chris Bond (12.0) and Majok Majok (10.7).
• Majok is one of 15 players in the country averaging a double-double at 10.7 points and 10.1 rebounds per game. His rebounding average ranks 16th in the country.
• Turner is tied for ninth place on Ball State’s all-time freshman scoring list with 280 points this year.
• Freshmen have accounted for better than 40 percent of Ball State’s minutes and scoring, and the Cardinals started three rookies for much of the year.
• Ken Pomeroy rates Ball State’s non-conference schedule No. 40 in the country. 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 Central Michigan
• Central Michigan (8-16, 1-11 MAC) is returning home after two straight games on the road.
• The Chippewas are coming off an 83-75 loss Saturday at Kent State.
• Central Michigan defeated the Golden Flashes at home earlier this season, 78-73 in overtime, for its one league victory.
• The Chippewas feature sophomore guard Chris Fowler, who is the MAC’s top scorer in league games at 19.4 points per game. He is averaging 18.0 points per game for the season.
• Sophomore forward John Simons is also averaging double figures at 10.9 points per game.
• Central Michigan is averaging a league-high 7.8 3-pointers per game.
• The Chippewas are scoring the second-most points in the league (73.7 ppg) but also allowing the second-most (73.5 ppg).
The Series with Central Michigan
• Ball State and Central Michigan will be meeting for the 91st time with the Cardinals leading 59-31 in the all-time series.
• The Cardinals have won six of the past seven meetings in the series with the Chippewas and eight of the past 10.
• The teams split two contests last year with Central Michigan posting a 71-57 win in Mount Pleasant (Jan. 19, 2013) and Ball State earning a 95-90 win in Muncie (Feb. 27, 2013).
• The Chippewas hold a 25-18 all-time advantage in games played in Mount Pleasant.
• The teams will meet twice in the next four games with Central Michigan making the return trip to Muncie for a March 1 contest.
• Ball State’s non-conference strength of schedule is ranked No. 40 in the country by Ken Pomeroy.
• The Cardinals have played only four teams all year rated outside Pomeroy’s top 200.
Berry Breaks 3-Point Record
• Jesse Berry broke the Ball State career record for 3-pointers Saturday against Bowling Green.
• He matched his career-high with six treys in the game to bring his career total to 207, surpassing the previous record of 203 held by former teammate Jauwan Scaife (2009-13).
• Berry also owns the school record for career 3’s attempted (607).
Berry Finding His Stroke
• Jesse Berry has rediscovered his shooting touch recently.
• He had the best year of his career from beyond the arc as a junior last season, shooting 37.5 percent (41.2 in MAC play) and hitting 60 treys.
• Berry had been in a slump this season, shooting just 26.8 percent from deep over the first 21 games, before busting out last week.
• In two games last week, he went 11 of 19 (57.9 percent) from 3-point range. He matched his career-high with six treys Saturday against Bowling Green.
Home and Away
• Ball State has performed significantly better at home this season, winning four games at Worthen Arena and having chances late in several others.
• The Cardinals’ shooting numbers have been virtually the same no matter where they play -- 39.9 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 42.5 percent shooting and 25.3 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 (+4.3) and Northern Illinois (+4.0).
• In league play, Ball State has a +2.5 average rebounding margin, which ranks fourth in the conference.
• The Cardinals have outrebounded eight of their 12 MAC opponents.
• Ball State held a 39-33 advantage against Toledo (Feb. 8), 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 17.1 per game.
• Ball State has held its turnovers to 13.5 per game in its wins compared to 17.9 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.
Persistent Crowder Gets His Chance
• Walk-on guard Kindon Crowder scored a career-high 10 points in a career-best 16 minutes last Wednesday against Eastern Michigan, nearly doubling his previous season total of 11 points.
• Crowder, a former team manager who first earned a roster spot as a practice player a year ago, has seen action in 12 games, including 11 of the past 16.
• 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.
• Ball State has lost seven games in a row, but the Cardinals have been right there in four of those games.
• Ball State held a three-point lead with fewer than 90 seconds to play against both Northern Illinois and Bowling Green before suffering two-point losses to both the Huskies (in overtime) and the Falcons.
• The Cardinals were also within three of Toledo and five of Western Michigan in the final minute but came up short against both.
Bond Having His Best Season Yet
• Senior forward Chris Bond is averaging a career-high 12.0 points per game in his final season for the Cardinals.
• Bond has reached double figures in 13 of the past 15 games and is leading the Cardinals in conference play at 13.3 points per game.
• 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
• Chris Bond has made 54 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 92 games in his career, including all 81 in which he has played over the past three seasons.
Bond Keeping Good Company
• Chris Bond now owns career totals of 960 points, 561 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.
• Jesse Berry surpassed 1,000 points for his career Nov. 30 at Cleveland State. He now owns 1,162 career points, the most of any current Ball State player.
• Berry became the 27th member of Ball State’s 1,000-point club, while fellow senior Chris Bond is also nearing the milestone.
• Bond needs 40 more points to reach 1,000 for his career.
Majok One of the Nation’s Best on the Boards
• Senior center Majok Majok ranks first in the MAC and 16th nationally in rebounding at 10.1 boards per game.
• Majok owns 15 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 15 players in the country averaging a double-double at 10.7 points and 10.1 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 10.7 points and 10.0 rebounds per game.
Turner from Beyond the Arc
• Zavier Turner ranks second in the MAC in 3-point percentage (.422) and tied for second in the league in 3-pointers per game (2.1).
• Turner has hit at least three 3-pointers in 10 of the Cardinals’ 23 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 free throw percentage (.885, 2nd), assists per game (3.5, 6th), minutes per game (32.3, 8th) and points per game (12.2, 17th).
• 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. His 280 points rank ninth on the list, four shy of teammate Jesse Berry (2010-11) for eighth.
• Turner leads Ball State with 12.2 points per game and has scored double figures a team-high 16 times.
• 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.