MUNCIE, Ind. -- The Ball State men's basketball team plays the first of two home games this week when its hosts Holy Cross (Ind.) Wednesday with a 7 p.m. tipoff at Worthen Arena.
The Cardinals (2-4) are coming off a 67-53 loss Saturday at Butler, while the Saints (5-5) dropped a 77-70 decision Saturday to Calumet College of St. Joseph in their most recent action.
Ball State will also play at home Saturday with a 1 p.m. contest against South Dakota to lead off a men's and women's doubleheader at Worthen Arena.
• 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, live audio and live stats at ballstatesports.com
• Ball State and Holy Cross (Ind.) will be meeting for the first time ever Wednesday.
A Quick Look at the Cardinals
• Ball State is coming off arguably its most difficult stretch of the season and has dropped four games in a row to fall to 2-4 on the year.
• The Cardinals lost on the road Saturday, 67-53, to Butler. The other losses during the stretch have come to No. 1 Indiana and to strong programs in Indiana State and Cleveland State.
• Ball State used a 14-2 run spanning both halves to take a 36-33 lead early in the second half at Butler, but the Bulldogs then used a 21-2 run of their own to regain control.
• Junior guard Jesse Berry led Ball State with 12 points at Butler. Berry, who scored a career-high 28 points in the previous game against Cleveland State, is averaging a team-best 14.0 points per game.
• Junior forward Majok Majok is averaging 13.0 points and leading the Mid-American Conference with 9.0 rebounds per game.
Scouting Holy Cross
• Holy Cross, an NAIA program in its fifth season of competition, is 5-5 on the year.
• The Saints are coming off a 77-70 loss Saturday to Calumet College of St. Joseph.
• Senior guard Yama Kader, who scored 44 points in a game earlier this season against Olivet Nazarene, leads Holy Cross in scoring at 19.3 points per game.
• Junior forward/center Brandon Evans is also averaging double figures at 13.6 points per game. He led the Saints in their last game with 22 points.
• For the season, Holy Cross is scoring 70.7 points per game and allowing 75.6 per game.
Majok Making His Presence Felt
• Majok Majok, a transfer from Midland College, has scored in double figures in four games, including a career-high 18 points Nov. 25 against No. 1-ranked Indiana.
• The No. 18 junior college prospect in the country by JucoJunction.com coming out of Midland, Majok is nearly averaging a double-double with 13.0 points and 9.0 rebounds per game. His rebounding average leads the Mid-American Conference.
• Majok has recorded two double-doubles through six games. He scored 11 points and grabbed 12 rebounds in the Nov. 11 season opener against Grambling State and went for 15 points and 12 boards Nov. 20 against Indiana State.
High Volume Rebounding
• Through six games, junior forward Matt Kamieniecki is averaging 0.43 rebounds per minute, having grabbed 34 rebounds in his 80 minutes on the court.
• Cole Dickerson of San Francisco is leading the nation with 15.0 rebounds per game. By comparison, Dickerson is averaging 0.44 rebounds per minute.
• Kamieniecki matched his career high with nine rebounds in just 16 minutes of action Nov. 25 at top-ranked Indiana.
Berry Back in Double Figures
• Junior guard Jesse Berry led Ball State in scoring in both games last week, including a career-best 28-point effort Nov. 28 against Cleveland State.
• Berry has scored in double figures in 10 of his past 13 contests dating back to last season.
• He earned the second MAC West Division Player of the Week award of his career after a 17-point performance in the season opener against Grambling State.
Living at the Line
• Majok Majok is getting to the free throw line an average of 8.2 times per game and has shot double-digit free throws in three of Ball State's six contests.
• Majok attempted double-digit free throws in three straight games -- Wofford (10), Indiana State (11) and Indiana (12) but has attempted just nine free throws over the past two games.
• Junior guard Jesse Berry is attempting 6.3 free throws per game, while the Cardinals are getting to the line 27.2 times per game as a team.
• Ball State has shot 43 more free throws than its opponents (163-120).
Scaife's Career Numbers
• Senior guard Jauwan Scaife, who is scoring 9.5 points per game this year, owns the most career points among the current Ball State players with 885.
• With five 3-pointers this year, Scaife has moved past former teammate Randy Davis (2008-12) and into sixth place on Ball State's career 3-pointers list with 138.
• Scaife needs four more 3-pointers to match his cousin and former Ball State star Bonzi Wells (1994-98) for fifth on the school's all-time list.
Bond, Scaife Stealing the Show
• Junior forward Chris Bond ranks among the Mid-American Conference leaders in steals with an average of 2.2 per game, while senior guard Jauwan Scaife is averaging 1.7 per game.
• Bond had four steals in the opener against Grambling State and a career-high five Nov. 20 against Wofford. Scaife had three steals Nov. 25 at No. 1 Indiana. The pair has combined for 23 of Ball State's 39 steals as a team.
Posley Making an Impact in the Backcourt
• Freshman guard Marcus Posley ranks among the top 10 in the Mid-American Conference in assists per game (2.8) and assist/turnover ratio (1.89 to 1).
• Posley recorded six helpers without a turnover to go along with 12 points in the opening win over Grambling. He had five assists against Indiana State and three assists against No. 1 Indiana.
Fields Gets Smaller to Play Bigger Role
• After four years in the Ball State program, fifth-year senior center Zach Fields made his first career start in the season opener against Grambling State and has started every game since.
• 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.
• The 6-foot-10 Fields, who has lost 30 pounds in an effort to make a greater impact, is averaging 4.5 rebounds per game. After never averaging more than 5.4 minutes per game in a season, Fields is logging 18.7 minutes per game this year.
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 356 games with 172 starts for the Cardinals.
• Senior guard Jauwan Scaife is the most experienced Cardinal, having played in 96 career games. He has started 69 contests at Ball State.
• Junior guard Jesse Berry (68 games, 21 starts), junior forwards Chris Bond (64 games, 45 starts), Matt Kamieniecki (53 games, 12 starts) and Tyler Koch (27 games, 22 starts), and senior center Zach Fields (48 games, 6 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).
Locking Down on Defense
• Ball State has ranked first or second in the Mid-American Conference for scoring defense in each of the past four seasons.
• Here are the Cardinals rankings by year: 2008-09 (59.7, 1st), 2009-10 (62.4, 1st), 2010-11 (64.0, 1st), 2011-12 (60.7, 2nd).
• Ball State also ranked second in the MAC in field goal percentage defense last year, holding opponents to 40.8 percent shooting from the floor.
• Ball State is playing without junior forward Tyler Koch, who suffered a hand injury during preseason practice.
• Koch, a former Wright State transfer, started 22 games last year in his first season at Ball State. He scored 6.6 points and grabbed 3.3 rebounds per game.
The Non-Conference Schedule
• Ball State will leave the state of Indiana just once during the non-conference schedule -- a Dec. 15 trip to South Dakota.
• The Cardinals will play eight of their 12 non-conference games at home and make three road trips to in-state opponents -- Indiana (Nov. 25), Butler (Dec. 1) and Purdue (Dec. 18).
• Two of Ball State's home games are against Indiana State (Nov. 20) and IUPUI (Dec. 23), giving the Cardinals five games against in-state Division I programs.
• Ball State has never before faced Big 10 opponents Indiana and Purdue in the same season.