Men's Hoops Hosts Western Michigan Wednesday
Ball State vs. Western Michigan
Wednesday, Feb. 26 at 7 p.m. ET -- Worthen Arena (Muncie, Ind.)
• Television: Time Warner Cable Sports Channel/ESPN3/Comcast Indiana 81; Michael Reghi (play-by-play); Tony White (analyst)
• 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); Luke Martin (play-by-play), Sean Stewart (analyst) & Petar Hood (sidelines)
• 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 (4-21, 1-13 MAC) hosts Mid-American Conference co-leader Western Michigan on Wednesday for the second meeting between the divisional rivals this season.
• The Cardinals played the league’s other co-leader Toledo close into the final minutes Sunday but fell 85-74.
• Ball State played that game without starting center Majok Majok and reserve guard Kindon Crowder, both of whom were dealing with ankle sprains.
• Senior forward Chris Bond surpassed 1,000 career points in the Toledo game, scoring a career-high for the second straight game with 22.
• Senior guard Jesse Berry joined Ball State’s 1,000-point club earlier this season and owns the school record for 3-pointers in a career with 214.
• Majok is one of 17 players in the country averaging a double-double at 10.5 points and 10.0 rebounds per game. His rebounding average ranks 19th in the country.
• Freshman guard Zavier Turner ranks seventh on Ball State’s all-time freshman scoring list with 304 points.
• 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. 36 in the country. The Cardinals have played only five teams all season outside the Pomeroy top 200.
Scouting Western Michigan
• Western Michigan (18-8, 11-3 MAC) is tied with Toledo atop the MAC standings and would be the No. 1 seed if the league tournament started today.
• The Broncos have won seven games in a row and nine of their past 10, including a 75-67 win Sunday over Eastern Michigan.
• David Brown leads WMU and ranks second in the MAC at 18.7 points per game, while Shayne Whittington ranks among the top five in the league in scoring (15.1 ppg) and rebounding (8.8 rpg).
• In MAC play, the Broncos rank first in the league in field goal percentage (.477) and third in field goal percentage defense (.407).
The Series with Western Michigan
• Ball State and Western Michigan will be meeting for the 119th time with the Cardinals trailing by a slim, 60-58 margin in the all-time series.
• Indiana State (127 meetings) is the only team Ball State has played more in school history.
• Ball State won both meetings last year, but Western Michigan won the first game between the teams this season in Kalamazoo, Mich.
• The Cardinals hold a 36-30 advantage over Western Michigan in Muncie, including a 16-6 edge in Worthen Arena.
Last Time versus Western Michigan
• Western Michigan defeated Ball State on Jan. 26 in Kalamazoo, 62-53.
• Majok Majok led Ball State with 13 points and 10 rebounds, while Chris Bond also scored 13 points.
• It was a five-point game in the closing minutes until the Broncos iced it with late free throws.
• Shayne Whittington led all players with 21 points and 15 rebounds for the Broncos.
• Chris Bond became the second Ball State player this season to join the 1,000-point club when he scored a career-high 22 Sunday at Toledo to reach 1,003 for his career.
• Jesse Berry surpassed 1,000 points for his career Nov. 30 at Cleveland State. He now owns 1,198 career points to rank 21st on the Cardinals’ all-time scoring list.
• A total of 28 players in program history have reached 1,000 points.
• Ball State has lost its past nine games, but the Cardinals have been right there in six of those contests.
• The Cardinals held leads in the final 90 seconds against Northern Illinois (3 points), Bowling Green (3 points) and Central Michigan (7 points) but came up short in all three, including two in overtime.
• The Cardinals were within five points or fewer in the closing minutes against Western Michigan and twice against Toledo but came up short against both.
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 40.7 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 40.3 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 +3.6 average rebounding margin for the season, which ranks third in the MAC behind only Northern Illinois (+5.1) and Toledo (+3.8).
• In league play, Ball State has a +3.2 average rebounding margin, which ranks fourth in the conference.
• The Cardinals have outrebounded 10 of their 14 MAC opponents.
• Ball State twice outrebounded a Toledo team that was leading 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 17.7 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.
Cardinals Playing Extra Time
• Ball State has gone to overtime in two of its past seven games after not playing an overtime game in nearly three full seasons.
• The Cardinals’ Feb. 1 overtime loss to Northern Illinois was their first overtime game since March 10, 2011 -- a span of 1,060 days.
• Ball State then played three overtimes just 18 days later in Wednesday’s loss at Central Michigan.
• It was just the fifth triple-overtime game in Ball State history and the first since the 2000 season.
Berry Breaks 3-Point Record
• Senior guard Jesse Berry broke the Ball State career record for 3-pointers Feb. 15 against Bowling Green.
• He now owns 214 treys, 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 (629).
Bond Having His Best Season Yet
• Senior forward Chris Bond is averaging a career-high 12.7 points per game in his final season. His 14.4 points-per-game average in MAC play ranks 10th in the league.
• He is coming off back-to-back career-highs with 21 points Wednesday at Central Michigan and 22 points Sunday at Toledo.
• Bond has reached double figures in 15 of the past 17 games and has notched at least 16 points in a game eight times this season.
Ball State’s Iron Man
• Chris Bond has made 56 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 94 games in his career, including all 83 in which he has played over the past three seasons.
Bond Keeping Good Company
• Chris Bond now owns career totals of 1,003 points, 581 rebounds and 143 steals.
• He is 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 second in the MAC and 19th nationally in rebounding at 10.0 boards per game. Among MAC players, only Buffalo’s Javon McCrea (10.3) is averaging more.
• 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 17 players in the country averaging a double-double at 10.5 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 2005.
Persistent Crowder Gets His Chance
• Walk-on guard Kindon Crowder scored a career-high 10 points in 16 minutes Feb. 12 against Eastern Michigan, nearly doubling his previous season total of 11 points.
• He played a career-high 23 minutes in last Wednesday’s triple-overtime game at Central Michigan.
• Crowder, a former team manager, has seen action in 13 games, including 12 of the past 18.
• 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.
Turner from Beyond the Arc
• Zavier Turner ranks second in the MAC in 3-point percentage (.424) and fifth in the league in 3-pointers per game (2.1).
• Turner has hit at least three 3-pointers in 11 of the Cardinals’ 25 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 (.878, 2nd), assists per game (3.6, 6th), minutes per game (32.6, 7th) and points per game (12.2, 19th).
• 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 304 points rank seventh on the list, one shy of Jauwan Scaife (2009-10) for sixth.
• Turner ranks second on the team at 12.2 points per game and has reached double figures 17 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.