Cardinals Host IUPUI Sunday in Men's Basketball
MUNCIE, Ind. -- The Ball State men's basketball team returns to Worthen Arena to host IUPUI for a 2 p.m. tipoff Sunday.
The Cardinals (5-5) are coming off a 66-56 loss Tuesday at Purdue, while IUPUI (4-10) is coming off an 89-69 loss Thursday at Valparaiso.
• Radio (Flagship): Ball State Radio Network (104.1 FM WLBC); Play-by-play: Joel Godett; Analyst: Bonzi Wells
• 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 owns a 6-2 lead over IUPUI in the all-time series that dates back to 2000.
• The Cardinals are 4-0 against the Jaguars in Worthen Arena.
• The teams split a home-and-home series during the non-conference portion of last season with each team winning on its home floor.
• The Cardinals won the first meeting by a 69-62 score in Muncie, and the Jaguars later earned a 66-57 win in Indianapolis.
A Quick Look at the Cardinals
• Ball State had its three-game winning streak snapped Tuesday at Purdue, falling to 5-5 on the season with a 66-56 loss to the Boilermakers in West Lafayette, Ind.
• The Cardinals held a 47-45 lead with 8:33 left in the game before Purdue went on a 13-2 run to take control.
• Junior guard Jesse Berry, a Lafayette, Ind., product playing in front of a hometown crowd, scored 22 points for the second straight game Tuesday.
• Freshman guard Marcus Posley added 12 points at Purdue as he reached double figures for the fourth game in a row.
• Berry -- a preseason All-Mid-American Conference selection -- leads the Cardinals with 14.1 points per game, while junior forward Majok Majok is averaging a double-double with 12.2 points and 11.0 rebounds per game.
• Majok, who leads the MAC and ranks in the seventh in the country in rebounding, has pulled down double-digit boards in each of past five games, including 10 Tuesday at Purdue.
• Sunday's game against IUPUI is the last for Ball State before a nine-day holiday break.
• IUPUI dropped to 4-10 with an 89-69 loss Thursday at Valparaiso.
• Senior guard John Hart led four double-figure scorers for IUPUI in that game with 18 points.
• Hart is averaging a team-best 14.8 points per game for the season, while junior forward Mitchell Patton (14.4) and junior guard Ian Chiles (10.3) are also averaging double figures. Patton has missed three of the past four games to injury.
• Donovan Gibbs leads the Jaguars on the boards with 7.3 rebounds per game.
• IUPUI, a member of the Summit League, has already played two conference games, falling on the road at both UMKC and South Dakota.
• For the season, the Jaguars are scoring 67.7 points per game and allowing 76.0. IUPUI is being out-rebounded 37.4-31.1 on average.
• Majok Majok owns four double-doubles this season and is averaging a double-double at 12.2 points and 11.0 rebounds per 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.
• Majok was named the MAC West Co-Player of the Week Dec. 10 after averaging 13.5 points and 16.5 rebounds per game in wins over Holy Cross (Ind.) and South Dakota the previous week.
• 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.
• The No. 18 junior college prospect in the country by JucoJunction.com coming out of Midland, Majok leads the Mid-American Conference double-doubles.
Majok on the Glass
• For the season, Majok ranks seventh nationally and leads the Mid-American Conference at 11.0 rebounds per game.
• Majok's 46 rebounds over Ball State's games vs. Holy Cross (Ind.), home against South Dakota and at South Dakota, 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.
• Ball State and IUPUI have played three common opponents so far this season.
• Here is a breakdown of how each team fared against those common opponents:
-- South Dakota: BSU won 62-51 at home and 80-73 on the road; IUPUI lost 88-68 on the road
-- Butler: BSU lost 67-53 on the road; IUPUI lost 87-55 on the road
-- Indiana State: BSU lost 68-48 at home; IUPUI lost 75-61 at home.
Posley the Scorer
• Freshman guard Marcus Posley has emerged as a scoring threat over the past four games, leading the Cardinals with an average of 14.5 points per game during that stretch.
• Posley, who College Sports Madness named the MAC Player of the Week Monday, has scored in double figures in each of those four games, including a career-best 20-point performance in the Dec. 15 game South Dakota.
Posley the Distributor
• Marcus Posley leads the Cardinals with an average of 3.0 assists per game.
• The freshman guard ranks third in the MAC with a 2.5 to 1 assist/turnover ratio.
• Posley has reached five assists in four games this year, including a career-best six helpers without a turnover in the season-opening win over Grambling State.
• In only two game this season has Posley had more than one turnover.
• If you throw out his one-assist, five-turnover performance against Cleveland State, Posley has recorded 29 assists and just seven turnovers in the other nine games.
Berry's Explosive Performances
• Junior guard Jesse Berry, who leads Ball State with 14.1 points per game, topped the 20-point mark for the third time this season with his 22-point effort Tuesday at Purdue.
• Berry scored a career-best 28 points Nov. 28 against Cleveland State and went for 22 in the Cardinals' Dec. 15 game at South Dakota.
• Berry, who has led the Cardinals in scoring five times this year, has now surpassed 20 points in a game five times in his career.
• 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.
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 six opponents to a combined 25.0 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) Dec. 8.
• Ball State's five losses this year have come against teams that own a combined 36-16 record.
• Here is a look at the teams that have beaten the Cardinals:
-- Indiana State: 5-3 with losses with losses to nationally-ranked UCLA and New Mexico
-- Indiana: 11-1 with its only loss to Butler
-- Cleveland State: 7-4 with losses to nationally-ranked Michigan and NC State
-- Butler: 8-2 with wins over Indiana, North Carolina, Marquette and Northwestern
-- Purdue: 5-6 with losses to Xavier and Notre Dame
Getting to the Line
• As a team, the Cardinals are getting to the free throw line 25.7 times per game.
• BSU has shot 62 more free throws than its opponents (257-195) for the season.
• Junior forward Majok Majok is shooting an average of 7.4 free throws per game. He attempted double-digit free throws in three straight games earlier this year -- Wofford (10), Indiana State (11) and Indiana (12).
High Volume Rebounding
• Junior forward Matt Kamieniecki is averaging 0.35 rebounds per minute, having grabbed 47 rebounds in his 135 minutes on the court.
• Among the Cardinals, only Majok Majok is averaging more rebounds per minute.
• Kamieniecki matched his career high with nine rebounds in 16 minutes Nov. 25 at Indiana.
Koch Sees First Action
• Junior forward Tyler Koch saw his first action of the season Dec. 15 at South Dakota with nine minutes off the bench after missing the first eight games recovering from a hand injury.
• Koch played 14 minutes Tuesday at Purdue and grabbed three rebounds.
• 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.
Bond Stealing the Show
• Junior forward Chris Bond ranks third in the Mid-American Conference in steals with an average of 2.1 per game.
• Bond had a career-high five steals Nov. 20 against Wofford and has recorded four steals in two other games.
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 923.
• Tuesday at Purdue, Scaife moved into sole possession of fifth place on Ball State's career 3-pointers list with 143.
• He moved past his cousin and former Ball State star Bonzi Wells (1994-98) and is now 11 treys shy of Chris Williams (2001-03) for fourth on the 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 17.9 minutes per game this year after never logging more than 5.4 minutes per game previously.
• While Ball State returns only six letterwinners from a season ago, those six players have now combined to play in 377 games with 188 starts for the Cardinals.
• Senior guard Jauwan Scaife is the most experienced, having played in 100 games (73 starts).
• Junior guard Jesse Berry (72 games, 25 starts), junior forwards Chris Bond (68 games, 49 starts), Matt Kamieniecki (56 games, 11 starts) and Tyler Koch (29 games, 22 starts), and senior center Zach Fields (52 games, 10 starts) also have a wealth of experience in the Ball State program.
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.
• 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).
The Non-Conference Schedule
• The Dec. 15 game at South Dakota marked 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 have made three 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.
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).
• Following today's game, Ball State will have a nine-day break before its final tuneup for conference play Jan. 2 against Norfolk State.
• The Cardinals will then be off for a week after that game before opening the Mid-American Conference schedule Jan. 9 at Eastern Michigan.