Men's Hoops Hosts Toledo Wednesday in MAC West Battle
MUNCIE, Ind. -- The Ball State men's basketball team welcomes Mid-American Conference West Division preseason favorite Toledo to Worthen Arena for a 7 p.m. matchup Wednesday.
The Cardinals (8-10, 2-4 MAC) are coming off a thorough, 82-62 road victory Saturday at Miami University. Toledo (7-10, 3-3 MAC) also won Saturday, taking down Bowling Green by a score of 75-62.
• Radio (Flagship): Ball State Radio Network (104.1 FM WLBC); Play-by-play: Joel Godett; Analyst: David Eha
• Radio (Student): Sports Link Radio (91.3 FM WCRD); Play-by-play: Sean Stewart; Analyst: Donnie Kolakowski, Tyler Bradfield
• Internet: Live video, audio and stats at ballstatesports.com
• Ball State trails 42-39 in the all-time series against Toledo.
• The Cardinals are 25-13 against the Rockets in Muncie, including an 18-4 mark in Worthen Arena.
• Ball State has won three of the past four meetings over the past two seasons.
• The teams split two meetings last year with the Cardinals posting a 70-68 win last January at Toledo and the Rockets claiming a 63-55 victory last February in Muncie.
• Ball State's Jesse Berry averaged 17.5 points over the two games with Toledo last year, connecting on 12 of 23 shots from the floor, including 9 of 16 from 3-point range.
A Quick Look at the Cardinals
• Ball State snapped a four-game losing streak Saturday with an 82-62 road win at Miami University to improve to 8-10 overall and 2-4 in the Mid-American Conference.
• The Cardinals pulled away down the stretch, using a 12-0 run to turn a 58-54 advantage with less than six minutes to play into a 16-point lead. They went on to extend the lead to as many as 22.
• Junior forward Majok Majok led all players with 21 points and eight rebounds, while junior guard Jesse Berry poured in 20 points and knocked down a career-best six 3-pointers.
• Junior forward Chris Bond stuffed the stat sheet with 16 points, seven rebounds, four assists and five steals, while Jauwan Scaife added 14 points and dished out a career-high seven assists.
• For the season, a trio of Cardinals leads the team offensively with remarkably similar offensive production. Berry -- a preseason all-conference selection -- and Majok are each scoring 12.6 points per game, followed closely by Scaife at 12.2 per game.
• Majok, who leads the MAC and ranks 16th nationally in rebounding, is one of 16 players in the country averaging a double-double at 12.6 points and 10.1 rebounds per game.
• Ball State is scoring 63.2 points per game as a team and allowing 66.2.
• Toledo snapped a three-game losing streak Saturday with a 75-62 home win over Bowling Green to improve to 7-10 (3-3 MAC).
• The Rockets' three MAC losses have come against East Division co-leaders Ohio (76-67) and Akron (71-56) along with West Division leader Western Michigan (79-56).
• Junior guard Rian Pearson leads Toledo with 18.2 points and 6.5 rebounds per game, while sophomore guard Julius Brown adds 13.4 points and hands out a team-best 5.2 assists per game.
• Toledo, the preseason MAC West favorite, is scoring 69.6 points per game and allowing 67.9.
• The Rockets lead the conference with a 78.6 percent team free throw percentage.
More on Saturday's Win at Miami
• Ball State scored a season-high 82 points in the win at Miami and shot 57.7 percent (30-of-52) from the floor as a team, including 68.0 percent (17-of-25) in the second half.
• The Cardinals held a decided advantage on the boards, out-rebounding the RedHawks 37-17.
• The victory was the first for BSU at Miami's Millett Hall since 2004 and just its second since 1992.
• The 20-point margin of victory was the largest for the Cardinals since the season opener against Grambling State and their largest over Miami since 1980.
Majok Named MAC West Player of the Week
• Junior forward Majok Majok was selected Monday as the MAC West Division Player of the Week after averaging 17.0 points and 7.0 rebounds over games last week against Buffalo and Miami.
• He shot 64.7 percent (11-of-17) from the floor and 85.7 percent (12-of-14) from the free throw line for the week on the way to his second player-of-the-week award this season (also on Dec. 10).
Others Also Impressive Last Week
• Majok was one of several Cardinals who turned in impressive weeks statistically.
• Jauwan Scaife averaged 16.0 points over the two games and handed out a career-high seven assists Saturday at Miami. Chris Bond averaged 12.0 points, 5.5 rebounds and 4.5 steals per game. Jesse Berry averaged 14.5 points, and he knocked down a career-best six 3-pointers against Miami.
Majok's Dunk a Finalist for Play of the Year
• Majok Majok's buzzer-beating dunk to defeat Norfolk State on Jan. 2 won its round of fan voting last week to become a finalist for the GEICO Play of the Year.
• The play beat out three others last week and will be one of eight finalists up for the award in another round of fan voting in March at facebook.com/BestofCollegeBasketball. All eight finalists will appear on the Best of College Basketball show April 6 on CBS.
• Two members of the Toledo coaching staff have strong Ball State connections.
• Toledo's associate head coach Angres Thorpe was an assistant at Ball State for two years from 2000-02 and was a part of the Cardinals' run to the finals of the 2001 Maui Invitational.
• Michael Bennett, the Rockets' director of basketball operations, played on Ball State's Maui team. He lettered from 2001-05 and spent last year on the Cardinals staff as video coordinator.
• Bennett and Ball State director of operations Mickey Hosier are brothers-in-law.
• Ball State's three leading scorers -- Jauwan Scaife, Jesse Berry and Majok Majok -- have scored nearly the exact same number of points for the season.
• Berry and Majok have each scored 227 points, while Scaife has scored 220.
• The Cardinals are coming off one of their most balanced scoring games of the season at Miami, where Majok scored 21, Berry 20, Chris Bond 16 and Scaife 14.
Cleaning Up on the Glass
• Ball State has out-rebounded all six of its Mid-American Conference opponents.
• The Cardinals out-rebounded Eastern Michigan (29-16), Kent State (48-39), Akron (33-32), Central Michigan (37-34), Buffalo (33-30) and Miami (37-17).
• Ball State has out-rebounded its opponents by an average of 36.2 to 28.0 in league play for a +8.2 margin that leads the MAC.
• For the season, the Cardinals are +3.7 on the boards on average.
• Junior forward Majok Majok is one of 16 players in the nation averaging a double-double at 12.6 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, who leads the MAC with seven double-doubles, is averaging a team-best 15.5 points and 9.3 rebounds per game in league play.
• With 18 points and 17 rebounds Dec. 5 against Holy Cross (Ind.), Majok became the first Ball State player since Cameron Echols in 2002 with at least 18 points and 17 rebounds in a game.
Majok on the Glass
• For the season, Majok Majok ranks 16th nationally and leads the Mid-American Conference at 10.1 rebounds per game. He averages nearly two rebounds more per game than his nearest competitor in the league rankings.
• Majok's 46 rebounds over Ball State's three games from Dec. 5 through Dec. 15 were the most in a three-game stretch by a Cardinal since Theron Smith grabbed 46 over three conference games from Jan. 5-12, 2002.
Scaife Moves into Second on Treys List
• With a pair of 3-pointers Saturday against Miami, senior guard Jauwan Scaife moved into solo possession of second place on Ball State's career 3-pointers list with 165.
• He surpassed Peyton Stovall (2003-08) for No. 2 on the list and now trails only Patrick Jackson (1998-2002), who holds the school record at 202.
• Junior guard Jesse Berry has also climbed into the top 10 on that list. He now owns 135 career 3-pointers to tie for eighth in school history. He is 20 treys away from cracking the top five.
Scaife Joins 1,000-Point Club
• With 17 points Jan. 16 at Akron, senior guard Jauwan Scaife surpassed the 1,000-point mark for his career. The local product from Muncie Central High School became the 26th member of Ball State's 1,000-point club. He now owns 1,048 points to rank 24th in school history.
• Ball State has used the same starting lineup in every game but two this season: guards Jesse Berry and Jauwan Scaife, forwards Chris Bond and Majok Majok, and center Zach Fields.
• The only times the lineup varied were Jan. 19 at Central Michigan and Saturday at Miami when forward Matt Kamieniecki started in place of Fields.
• Ball State has been a better shooting team and a higher scoring team in the second half of games this season.
• The Cardinals are shooting 46.0 percent in the second half of games compared to 38.7 percent in the first half. BSU is scoring 33.9 points in the second half compared to 29.3 in the first.
• Ball State's interior players have been especially efficient over the final 20 minutes of games with Chris Bond shooting 57.7 percent, Majok Majok 56.2 percent and Zach Fields 55.2 percent in the second half of games.
High Volume Rebounding
• Junior forward Matt Kamieniecki is averaging 0.321 rebounds per minute, having grabbed 84 rebounds in 262 minutes, just behind Majok Majok (0.323) for the best average on the team.
• By comparison, Siena's O.D. Anosike, who leads the nation with 12.0 rebounds per game, is pulling down 0.317 boards per minute.
• Kamieniecki set a career-high with 10 rebounds in 24 minutes Jan. 19 at Central Michigan.
Scaife Picking up his Offense
• Senior guard Jauwan Scaife is averaging 15.6 points per game over the past eight contests after averaging 9.5 points over the first 10 games of the season.
• Included in that stretch is a season-high 21-point game against IUPUI, a trio of 18-point performances against Norfolk State, Eastern Michigan and Buffalo, and a 17-point effort versus Akron.
• After shooting 29.3 percent from the floor (27-for-92) and 20.0 percent from 3-point range (10-for-50) over the first 10 games, Scaife has knocked down 41.9 percent from the floor (39-for-93) and 38.6 percent from beyond the arc (22-for-57) over the past eight outings.
Bond Knows How to Finish
• Junior forward Chris Bond has earned a reputation as a finisher at the basket.
• The junior forward has connected on 52.5 percent of his career field goal attempts, which is on pace to rank seventh in school history.
• Bond matched his career high with 18 points in the MAC opener at Eastern Michigan and knocked down the game-winning free throws in the final second.
• He finished that game a perfect 8-for-8 from the floor, the most efficient shooting performance in the league this year, and is now shooting 58.3 percent in MAC games.
Bond Stealing the Show
• Chris Bond ranks first in the Mid-American Conference in steals with an average of 2.3 per game and first in league games only at 3.2 per game.
• Bond matched his career-high with five steals, all in the first half, Saturday at Miami.
• He has had seven games this year with at least four steals.
• Just 18 games into the season, Bond's 42 steals have already surpassed his previous career high of 29 steals as a sophomore last season.
Berry's Explosive Performances
• Junior guard Jesse Berry scored 20 points Saturday at Miami for his fifth 20-point game of the season and the seventh of his career.
• Berry, the MAC West Player of the Week twice this season and three times in his career, scored a career-best 28 points Nov. 28 against Cleveland State.
• He went for 22 in back-to-back games Dec. 15 at South Dakota and Dec. 18 at Purdue, and he scored 21 in the non-conference finale against Norfolk State.
Posley the Distributor
• Freshman guard Marcus Posley leads the Ball State guards with an average of 2.9 assists per game and a 1.89-to-1 assist/turnover ratio.
• Posley has reached five assists in five games this year, including a career-best six helpers without a turnover in the season-opening win over Grambling State.
• In all five of those games, Posley has had one turnover or fewer.
• He has had only four games all season with more than two turnovers.
Fields Gets Smaller to Play Bigger Role
• After four years in the program, fifth-year senior center Zach Fields made his first career start in the season opener against Grambling State and has gone on to start 16 of Ball State's 18 games.
• Fields made the most of the opportunity in the opener, logging career highs with 10 points and eight rebounds. His previous career bests were four points and four boards.
• He scored eight points in the MAC-opening win at Eastern Michigan and added nine more Jan. 19 at Central Michigan in one of only two games he has come off the bench.
• The 6-foot-10 Fields, who has lost 30 pounds in an effort to make a greater impact, is averaging 18.1 minutes per game this year after never logging more than 5.4 minutes per game previously.
Ramey Misses Time
• Freshman guard Michael Ramey has been out for the past seven games as he recovers from an illness suffered in December. Ramey played in 10 of the Cardinals' first 11 games and scored in double figures twice -- 11 points versus Wofford and 10 against Holy Cross (Ind.).
• Ball State won both its last non-conference game and its first MAC contest on its final possession.
• The Cardinals topped Norfolk State, 62-61, Jan. 2 when Jesse Berry drove the length of the floor with 6.3 seconds left and found Majok Majok for a buzzer-beating dunk.
• Jan. 9 at Eastern Michigan, Berry's pass went to Chris Bond, who drew a foul at the rim and made both free throws with less than one second left to lift the Cardinals to a 60-58 win.
Koch Back in Action
• Junior forward Tyler Koch is now 10 games into his return to the court after missing the first eight games of the season with a hand injury.
• Koch scored a season-high 10 points Dec. 23 against IUPUI.
• A former Wright State transfer, Koch started 22 games last year in his first season at Ball State. He scored 6.6 points and grabbed 3.3 rebounds per game.
One of the Best in the West
• Ball State has finished among the top three in the MAC West Division in each of the past four seasons, including first- or second-place finishes in three of those years.
• The Cardinals tied for the division crown in 2008-09 and finished second in both 2009-10 and 2010-11. Last year, Ball State tied for third in the West.
• While Ball State returns only six letterwinners from a season ago, those six players have now combined to play in 423 games with 220 starts for the Cardinals.
• Senior guard Jauwan Scaife is the most experienced, having played in 108 games (81 starts).
• Junior guard Jesse Berry (80 games, 33 starts), junior forwards Chris Bond (76 games, 57 starts), Matt Kamieniecki (62 games, 13 starts) and Tyler Koch (37 games, 22 starts), and senior center Zach Fields (60 games, 16 starts) also have a wealth of experience in the Ball State program.
• Of the eight newcomers on Ball State's active roster, seven are true freshmen. Here is a breakdown of the freshman class by position ...
• Guard -- Marcus Posley (Rockford, Ill./Auburn HS), Michael Ramey (Indianapolis, Ind./Southport HS), Chase Brogna (Houston, Texas/St. Thomas HS) and George Cater (St. Peters, Mo./Fort Zumwalt South HS).
• Forward -- Bo Calhoun (South Bend, Ind./Washington HS) and Rocco Belcaster (Berwyn, Ill./Morton HS).
• Center -- Mading Thok (Boyden, Iowa/Western Christian HS).
• Ball State's only non-freshman newcomer is Majok Majok (Perth, Australia/Midland College).