MUNCIE, Ind. -- The Ball State men's basketball team visits Central Michigan in Mid-American Conference West Division action Saturday in Mount Pleasant, Mich.
Tipoff is set for 7 p.m. at McGuirk Arena with the game to be televised by the Ball State Sports Network. The game will air in Muncie on WIPB-TV and throughout the state on various affiliates listed below.
Ball State (7-8, 1-2 MAC) is coming off a 71-64 loss Wednesday at MAC-leading Akron, while Central Michigan (8-8, 1-2 MAC) dropped a 58-52 decision Tuesday at Eastern Michigan in its most recent action.
• Television: Ball State Sports Network; Play-by-play: Vince Welch; Analyst: Jerry Peirson; Affiliates: WIPB-TV (Muncie), HTSN 6.2, Comcast 247, Brighthouse 164 (Indianapolis), WANE 15.2 (Fort Wayne), WNDA Indiana 9 (Jeffersonville), WKYI-TV 24 (Louisville, Ky.), WJTS 18 (Jasper; tape delay), WHME 46 (South Bend, tape delay)
• Radio (Flagship): Ball State Radio Network (104.1 FM WLBC); Play-by-play: Joel Godett
• Internet: Ball State Sports Network broadcast streamed live on ballstatesports.com. Live audio and live stats also available.
• Ball State has won five in a row against Central Michigan and seven of the past eight meetings over the past four years.
• The Cardinals hold a 58-30 advantage in the all-time series that dates back to 1955-56.
• Ball State is 24-19 all-time against the Chippewas in Mount Pleasant.
• The Cardinals won both meetings last year by similar scores, defeating the Chippewas 73-52 in Muncie (Jan. 18, 2012) and 71-52 in Mount Pleasant (Feb. 29, 2012).
• Three current Cardinals averaged double figures over those two meetings last year -- Jesse Berry (13.0), Tyler Koch (11.5) and Chris Bond (10.5). Koch had a career-high 17 in the Jan. 18 game.
A Quick Look at the Cardinals
• Ball State enters the game at 7-8 (1-2 MAC) following a 71-64 loss Wednesday at Akron.
• Junior forward Majok Majok poured in a career-high 26 points against the Zips and grabbed 13 rebounds for his second straight double-double and his sixth of the season.
• Senior guard Jauwan Scaife added 17 points as he surpassed the 1,000-point mark for his career.
• Junior guard Jesse Berry -- a preseason all-MAC selection -- leads the Cardinals with an average of 12.6 points per game.
• Majok, who leads the MAC and ranks 15th nationally in rebounding, is one of 19 players in the country averaging a double-double at 11.9 points and 10.5 rebounds per game.
• Scaife gives the Cardinals a third double-figure scorer at 11.7 points per game.
• Saturday's game at Central Michigan will mark the Cardinals' second straight road contest and their third in four games to start MAC play.
Scouting Central Michigan
• Central Michigan dropped its second straight league road game Tuesday at Eastern Michigan by a 58-52 score to fall to 8-8 (1-2 MAC).
• The Chippewas lost their previous game in overtime at Toledo, 76-72.
• Central Michigan's conference victory came over Bowling Green, 73-67, in the league opener at home, where the Chippewas are 4-1 this season.
• Senior guard Kyle Randall is the lone Chippewa averaging double figures, but he ranks fourth in the MAC at 16.8 points per game and leads the conference in league games at 22.7 points a night.
• Freshman guard Chris Fowler is tied for third in the MAC with 5.1 assists per game.
• As a team, Central Michigan ranks second in the conference in both 3-pointers made per game (8.1) and free throw percentage (.729).
More on Wednesday's Loss at Akron
• Ball State held a 28-22 lead late in the first half before Akron closed the half on a 12-0 run.
• The Zips extended their lead to as many as 10 in the second half, but Ball State cut it all the way to one a 47-46 after back-to-back Jauwan Scaife 3-pointers.
• The Cardinals out-shot Akron 44.4 percent to 41.2 percent, but the Zips out-scored Ball State 23-11 at the free throw line.
• The Cardinals scored 32 points in the paint and out-rebounded the athletic Zips, 33-32.
Scaife Joins 1,000-Point Club
• With 17 points Wednesday at Akron, senior guard Jauwan Scaife surpassed the 1,000-point mark for his career. He now owns 1,003 points as a Cardinal.
• The local product from Muncie Central High School became the 26th member of Ball State's 1,000-point club.
Cleaning Up on the Glass
• Ball State has out-rebounded each of its first three Mid-American Conference opponents.
• The Cardinals out-rebounded Eastern Michigan, 29-16, Kent State, 48-39, and Akron, 33-32.
• Ball State has out-rebounded its opponents by an average of 36.7 to 29.0 in league play.
• For the season, the Cardinals are plus-2.7 on the boards on average.
• 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 45.4 percent in the second half of games compared to 37.5 percent in the first half. BSU is scoring 34.1 points in the second half compared to 28.3 in the first.
• The biggest jump individually comes from freshman guard Marcus Posley, who is shooting 52.1 percent in the second half compared to 17.6 percent in the first.
• Junior forward Majok Majok is one of 19 players in the nation averaging a double-double at 11.9 points and 10.5 rebounds per game.
• He is coming off a career-best 26-point effort to go along with 13 rebounds Wednesday at Akron. It was his sixth double-double of the season, tops in the MAC.
• 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 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.
Majok on the Glass
• For the season, Majok ranks 15th nationally and leads the Mid-American Conference at 10.5 rebounds per game.
• 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.
• Junior forward Chris Bond does a little bit of everything for Ball State.
• Through three MAC games, Bond ranks among the top three on the team in points (12.7, third), rebounds (6.7, second), assists (3.0, second) and steals (3.3, first) per game.
• 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 68.0 percent in MAC games.
Bond Stealing the Show
• Chris Bond ranks second in the Mid-American Conference in steals with an average of 2.2 per game and first in league games only at 3.3 per game.
• Bond had a career-high five steals Nov. 20 against Wofford and has recorded four steals in four other games.
• Just 15 games into the season, Bond's 33 steals have already surpassed his previous career high of 29 steals as a sophomore last season.
Scaife Picking up his Offense
• Senior guard Jauwan Scaife is averaging 16.0 points per game over the past five contests.
• Included in that stretch is a season-high 21-point game against IUPUI, a pair of 18-point performances against Norfolk State and Eastern Michigan, 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 43.5 percent from the floor (27-for-62) and 42.9 percent from beyond the arc (15-for-35) over the past five outings.
Posley the Distributor
• Freshman guard Marcus Posley leads the Cardinals with an average of 2.9 assists per game.
• 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.
• He has had only four games this season with more than two turnovers.
• His 1.7-to-1 assist/turnover ratio would rank among the MAC leaders, but he just barely misses out on the 3.0 assists-per-game minimum.
• Before losses to Kent State and Akron, Ball State won back-to-back games 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.
Berry's Explosive Performances
• Junior guard Jesse Berry has topped the 20-point mark four times this season.
• Berry, who leads Ball State with 12.6 points per game, 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.
• Berry owns six career 20-point games and has led the Cardinals in scoring six times this year.
• He has been the MAC West Player of the Week twice this season and three times in his career.
Scaife, Berry on Career Treys List
• With 25 treys this season, senior guard Jauwan Scaife has moved into fourth place on Ball State's career 3-pointers list with 158.
• Scaife recently moved past his cousin and former Ball State star Bonzi Wells (1994-98) and former Cardinal Chris Williams (2001-03) for fourth on the all-time list. He is just three shy of Randy Zachary (1993-97) for third.
• Junior guard Jesse Berry has also climbed into the top 10 on that list. He now owns 125 career 3-pointers to rank ninth.
Koch Returning to Form
• Junior forward Tyler Koch is now seven games into his return to the court after missing the first eight games of the season with a hand injury.
• Koch scored 10 points Dec. 23 against IUPUI and then added six points on a pair of key 3-pointers in the Jan. 2 win over Norfolk State.
• 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.
High Volume Rebounding
• Junior forward Matt Kamieniecki is averaging 0.32 rebounds per minute, having grabbed 59 rebounds in 185 minutes, to rank second on the team behind only Majok Majok (0.33).
• By comparison, Siena's O.D. Anosike, who leads the nation with 11.9 rebounds per game, is pulling down 0.31 boards per minute.
• Kamieniecki matched his career high with nine rebounds in 16 minutes Nov. 25 at Indiana.
Ramey Misses Time
• Freshman guard Michael Ramey has been out for the past four games as he recovers from an illness suffered in December.
Getting to the Line
• As a team, the Cardinals are getting to the free throw line 22.8 times per game.
• BSU has shot 55 more free throws than its opponents (342-287) for the season.
• Junior forward Majok Majok (108 attempts) and junior guard Jesse Berry (74 attempts) have combined to shoot 182 free throws, more than half of Ball State's team total.
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.
• He scored eight points on 4-of-5 shooting in the MAC-opening win at Eastern Michigan.
• 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.
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 405 games with 208 starts for the Cardinals.
• Senior guard Jauwan Scaife is the most experienced, having played in 105 games (78 starts).
• Junior guard Jesse Berry (77 games, 30 starts), junior forwards Chris Bond (73 games, 54 starts), Matt Kamieniecki (59 games, 11 starts) and Tyler Koch (34 games, 22 starts), and senior center Zach Fields (57 games, 15 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).