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Matt Kamieniecki had a career-high eight assists last Saturday.
Courtesy: BSU Photo Services

Men's Hoops Team Makes Return Trip to South Dakota

Courtesy: Ball State Athletics
         
Release: December 14, 2012
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MUNCIE, Ind. -- The Ball State men's basketball team travels to Vermillion, S.D., this weekend to meet South Dakota for the second time in a week. Saturday's tipoff is scheduled for 7 p.m. CT (8 p.m. ET) at the Coyotes' DakotaDome.

The teams met last Saturday in Muncie with the Cardinals claiming a 62-51 victory to improve their record to 4-4. South Dakota is 4-6 on the season.

Live Coverage
• Radio (Flagship): Ball State Radio Network (104.1 FM WLBC); Play-by-play: Joel Godett
• Internet: Live audio and live stats at ballstatesports.com

The Matchup    
• Ball State makes the return trip to South Dakota as part of a back-to-back, home-and-home series with the Coyotes.
The Cardinals defeated South Dakota, 62-51, last Saturday in Muncie in their first-ever meeting.
This marks the third straight year Ball State has played a home-and-home with a non-conference opponent. The Cardinals won both games two years ago against Eastern Illinois and split two meetings last season with IUPUI.
This is the first time BSU has played one of those series with back-to-back games.

A Quick Look at the Cardinals    
• Ball State won its second straight game with last Saturday's 62-51 victory over South Dakota to even its record at 4-4 on the season.
The game was tied, 39-39, with 12 minutes to play, but the Cardinals out-scored South Dakota by a 23-12 margin down the stretch to pull away.
Senior guard Jauwan Scaife led the Cardinals with 14 points, including the final seven of the game, while freshman guard Marcus Posley added 12 points, nine of which came after halftime.
Junior forward Chris Bond posted a double-double with 11 points and 11 rebounds, while Majok Majok grabbed a game-high 16 boards and Matt Kamieniecki handed out a career-best eight assists.
Majok was named the Mid-American Conference West Division Co-Player of the Week Monday after averaging 13.5 points and 16.5 rebounds per game last week.
Majok is averaging a double-double for the season at 13.1 points and 10.9 rebounds per game. He leads the MAC and ranks 13th nationally in rebounding in the most recent NCAA statistics.
Junior guard Jesse Berry, a preseason all-conference selection, is averaging 12.1 points per game, while Scaife gives the Cardinals a third double-figure scorer at 10.3 points per game.

Scouting South Dakota 
• South Dakota dropped to 4-6 with last Saturday's 62-51 loss in Muncie.
Senior guard Juevol Myles leads South Dakota with 13.7 points and 4.2 assists per game, but Ball State held him to three points on 1-of-9 shooting last Saturday.
Junior center Trevor Gruis adds 12.0 points and a team-best 6.7 rebounds per game.
Gruis combined with guards Steve Tecker and Brandon Bos to shoot 16-for-30 in the first game against Ball State, but the rest of the team was 4-for-29 combined.
Junior guard Karim Rowson adds 11.2 points per game, while freshman forward Tyler Flack is blocking 2.3 shots per game.
The Coyotes have already split two Summit League games with a 73-71 loss to Western Illinois and an 88-68 win over an IUPUI team Ball State will play Dec. 23.

A Closer Look at Majok's Week
Majok Majok was named the MAC West Co-Player of the Week Monday after averaging 13.5 points and 16.5 rebounds per game in Ball State's wins over Holy Cross (Ind.) and South Dakota.
With 18 points and 17 rebounds Dec. 5 against Holy Cross (Ind.), Majok became the first Ball State player in 10 years to post that kind of stat line.
Former Cardinal Cameron Echols, who had 18 points and 22 rebounds Dec. 7, 2002 against Wright State, was the last BSU player with at least 18 points and at least 17 boards in a game.
Majok's 33 rebounds over two games were the most by a Cardinal in a two-game stretch since Echols had 33 in December 2002 -- 22 in the Wright State game and 11 the next time out against Indiana State.

Tough Competition       
• Ball State's four losses this year have come against teams that own a combined 26-8 record.
Here is a look at the teams that have beaten the Cardinals:
--
Indiana State: 4-3 with losses with losses to nationally ranked UCLA and New Mexico
--
No. 1 Indiana: 9-0 with a 24-point win over then-No. 13 North Carolina
--
Cleveland State: 6-3 with losses to then-No. 5 Michigan and then-No. 25 NC State
--
Butler: 7-2 with wins over North Carolina, Marquette and Northwestern

Majok Making His Presence Felt             
Majok Majok, a transfer from Midland College, owns three double-doubles on the season and is averaging a double-double at 13.1 points and 10.9 rebounds per game.
He scored a career-high 18 points against both No. 1 Indiana and Holy Cross (Ind.), and he pulled down a career-best 17 rebounds in the Holy Cross game.
The last Cardinal to average a double-double in a season was Theron Smith, who averaged 19.6 points and 10.9 rebounds in 2001-02.
The No. 18 junior college prospect in the country by JucoJunction.com coming out of Midland, Majok leads the Mid-American Conference in rebounding and double-doubles.

Defending Better Beyond the Arc           
• Ball State has done a much better job defending opposing 3-point shooters recently.
After allowing their first four opponents to shoot a combined 40.3 percent from beyond the arc, the Cardinals have held their last four opponents to a combined 23.8 percent.
Ball State held Butler to a season-low 17.4 percent (4-for-23) from 3-point range Dec. 1 and limited South Dakota to a season-worst 16 percent (4-of-25) last Saturday.

Getting to the Line        
Majok Majok is getting to the free throw line an average of 8.1 times per game.
Majok attempted double-digit free throws in three straight games earlier this year -- Wofford (10), Indiana State (11) and Indiana (12).
As a team, the Cardinals are getting to the line 26.0 times per game.
BSU has shot 67 more free throws than its opponents and made nearly as many (135) as its opponents have attempted (141).

High Volume Rebounding          
• Junior forward Matt Kamieniecki is averaging 0.36 rebounds per minute, having grabbed 36 rebounds in his 100 minutes on the court, to tie Majok Majok for the best per-minute rebounding average on the team.
Kamieniecki matched his career high with nine rebounds in 16 minutes Nov. 25 at Indiana.

Posley Making an Impact in the Backcourt          
• Freshman guard Marcus Posley would rank second in the Mid-American Conference with a 2.44 to 1 assist/turnover ratio, but he falls just short of the assists minimum to qualify for the rankings.
Posley, who is averaging 2.8 assists per game, recorded six helpers without a turnover to go along with 12 points in the opening win over Grambling.
He had five assists without a turnover Nov. 5 against Holy Cross (Ind.).

Berry Knows How to Find the Basket     
• Junior guard Jesse Berry, who ranks second on the team at 12.1 points per game, scored a career-best 28 points Nov. 28 against Cleveland State.
Berry has scored in double figures four times this season and in 10 of his past 15 games dating back to last year.
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.

Bond, Scaife Stealing the Show
• Junior forward Chris Bond is tied for fourth in the Mid-American Conference in steals with an average of 2.0 per game, while senior guard Jauwan Scaife ranks ninth at 1.6 per game.
Bond had a career-high five steals Nov. 20 against Wofford, while Scaife had three steals Nov. 25 at No. 1 Indiana.
The pair has combined for 29 of Ball State's 49 steals as a team.

Scaife's Career Numbers             
• Senior guard Jauwan Scaife, who is scoring 10.3 points per game this year, owns the most career points among the current Ball State players with 910.
This season, Scaife has moved past former teammate Randy Davis (2008-12) and into sixth place on Ball State's career 3-pointers list with 141.
He needs one more 3-pointer to match his cousin and former Ball State star Bonzi Wells (1994-98) for fifth on the school's all-time list.

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 18.5 minutes per game this year after never logging more than 5.4 minutes per game previously.

Koch Yet to Play              
• Ball State has played so far this season 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.

Returning Experience   
• While Ball State returns only six letterwinners from a season ago, those six players have now combined to play in 365 games with 180 starts for the Cardinals.
Senior guard Jauwan Scaife is the most experienced, having played in 98 career games (71 starts).
Junior guard Jesse Berry (70 games, 23 starts), junior forwards Chris Bond (66 games, 47 starts), Matt Kamieniecki (54 games, 12 starts) and Tyler Koch (27 games, 22 starts), and senior center Zach Fields (50 games, 8 starts) also have a wealth of experience in the Ball State program.

Welcome Freshmen     
• 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.

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.

The Non-Conference Schedule
• Saturday's game at South Dakota marks Ball State's only trip outside the state of Indiana before conference play. The Cardinals will play eight of their first 12 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.

Up Next              
• Ball State returns to the state of Indiana for a Tuesday matchup at Purdue as the Cardinals play back-to-back road games for the first time this season.
The Purdue game is Ball State's last road game before Mid-American Conference play begins.
The Cardinals will host IUPUI Dec. 23 and Norfolk State Jan. 2 before heading to Eastern Michigan for their Jan. 9 MAC opener.

Cardinals on Television               
• The Ball State Sports Network will televise four of the Cardinals' Mid-American Conference games: Jan. 9 at Eastern Michigan, Jan. 19 at Central Michigan, Jan. 26 at Miami University and the Feb. 16 home game versus Eastern Michigan.
The games will air on WIPB-TV in Muncie and on affiliates throughout the state (complete list at ballstatesports.com).
The Feb. 9 game against Western Michigan will air on Sports Time Ohio as part of the Mid-American Conference television package.

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