Men's Hoops Faces Western Michigan Saturday at 6 pm
MUNCIE, Ind. -- The Ball State men's basketball team hosts Mid-American Conference West Division leader Western Michigan for a 6 p.m. tipoff Saturday at Worthen Arena.
The game will be televised by SportsTime Ohio with the broadcast also streamed on ESPN3.
Ball State (8-13, 2-7 MAC), coming off a home loss Saturday to Ohio, will look to get on track against the Broncos (15-7, 7-2 MAC), which won their seventh straight game Saturday against Kent State.
• Television: SportsTime Ohio, ESPN3, ESPN Full Court; Play-by-play: Michael Reghi; Analyst: Dave Cecutti
• Radio (Flagship): Ball State Radio Network (104.1 FM WLBC); Play-by-play: Joel Godett; Analyst: Jerry Peirson
• Radio (Student): Sports Link Radio (91.3 FM WCRD); Play-by-play: Sean Stewart; Analyst: Donnie Kolakowski, Tyler Bradfield
• Internet: Live audio and stats at ballstatesports.com
• Ball State trails by a slim 59-57 margin in 116 all-time meetings with Western Michigan. The Cardinals have played only one opponent more often in school history -- Indiana State (126 times).
• Ball State holds a 35-20 advantage over Western Michigan in Muncie and has won 15 of the 21 games between the teams at Worthen Arena.
• The teams split two regular-season meetings last season with the Cardinals posting a 78-69 victory at home (Jan. 7, 2012) and falling 78-61 on the road (Feb. 22, 2012).
• Western Michigan then handed Ball State a 69-63 loss in the first round of the 2012 Mid-American Conference Tournament (March 5, 2012).
A Quick Look at the Cardinals
• BSU fell to 8-13 overall (2-7 MAC) with Wednesday's 69-42 loss to MAC preseason favorite Ohio.
• The Cardinals are looking to bounce back from a tough stretch in which they have lost seven of their past eight games.
• Senior guard Jauwan Scaife scored a game-high 18 points Wednesday against Ohio, but a shorthanded Ball State team had its toughest offensive night of the season, shooting 26.5 percent from the floor with 22 turnovers.
• Ohio opened the game on a 16-3 run and built a 34-14 lead by halftime.
• Scaife leads Ball State with an average of 13.2 points per game (16.0 in MAC play), while junior guard Jesse Berry scores 12.4 per game and junior forward Majok Majok adds 12.2.
• Majok, who leads the MAC and ranks 13th nationally in rebounding, is one of 15 players in the country averaging a double-double at 12.2 points and 10.3 rebounds per game.
Scouting Western Michigan
• Western Michigan, coming off an 82-76 win Wednesday over Kent State, rides into Muncie on a seven-game winning streak and leads the MAC West Division at 15-7 overall (7-2 MAC).
• WMU dropped its first two MAC games to East leaders Akron and Ohio but has not lost since.
• Shayne Whittington leads the Broncos with 12.8 points per game and ranks second in the league in rebounding (behind BSU's Majok) at 8.4 boards per game.
• Nate Hutcheson (11.2 points per game), David Brown (10.8) and Darius Paul (10.8) give the Broncos four double-figure scorers.
• WMU is out-rebounding its opponents by an average of 7.2 per game. In league games, the Broncos own a +8.7 scoring margin and are holding opponents to 36.8 percent shooting.
• Ball State played Wednesday's game against Ohio without center Zach Fields (ankle) and forward Tyler Koch (hip).
• It was the first missed game of the season for Fields but the ninth for Koch, who sat out the first eight games of the year with a thumb injury.
• The Cardinals have also played the entire conference season without freshman guard Michael Ramey because of illness.
More on Wednesday's Loss to Ohio
• Freshman forward Bo Calhoun played a career-high 24 minutes and grabbed a career-best seven rebounds to go along with five points Wednesday against Ohio.
• The Cardinals held the advantage on the boards, 41-38, led by junior forwards Matt Kamieniecki and Majok Majok with nine rebounds each.
Last Year vs. Western Michigan
• Two current Cardinals averaged double figures in last season's games with Western Michigan -- Jesse Berry (13.3 ppg) and Jauwan Scaife (12.0).
• Berry scored 19 in the Cardinals' MAC Tournament loss to the Broncos.
Scaife Scoring Consistently
• Senior guard Jauwan Scaife is averaging 16.6 points per game over the past 11 contests after averaging 9.5 points over the first 10 games of the season.
• Scaife has scored at least 18 points in six of the past 11 games, including a season-high 23 points last week versus Toledo. His 16.0 scoring average in MAC games ranks fifth in the league.
• Here is a breakdown of Scaife's numbers:
First 10 games: 9.5 ppg, 29.3% FG (27 for 92), 20.0% 3PT (10 for 50)
Last 11 games: 16.6 ppg, 42.1% FG (56 for 133), 38.5% 3PT (30 for 78)
Production at the Top
• Ball State is the only team in the MAC with three players in the top 15 in the league in scoring -- Jauwan Scaife 10th, Jesse Berry 14th and Majok Majok 15th.
• Ball State is getting 46.0 points per game from its top-4 scorers -- Scaife (13.2), Berry (12.4), Majok (12.2) and Chris Bond (8.2).
• Among MAC teams, only Toledo (50.9 ppg), Kent State (46.3) and Buffalo (46.2) are getting more production from their top-4 scorers.
Home vs. Road in League Play
• Since the start of conference play this season, Ball State has found more success away from home than it has in the historically home friendly Worthen Arena.
• The Cardinals are 2-3 on the road in league play and 0-4 at home.
• Here is a comparison of the team's offensive numbers at home and on the road in MAC play ...
Road MAC Games: 64.4 ppg, 49.0% FG, 37.4% 3PT
Home MAC Games: 57.5 ppg, 35.3% FG, 26.0% 3PT
• Junior forward Majok Majok is one of 15 players in the nation averaging a double-double at 12.2 points and 10.3 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, who leads the MAC with eight double-doubles, is averaging 13.6 points and 10.0 rebounds per game in league play.
• With 18 points and 17 rebounds Dec. 5 against Holy Cross (Ind.), he became the first Ball State player since Cameron Echols in 2002 with at least 18 points and 17 rebounds in a game.
• Majok was named the MAC West Player of the Week on both Dec. 10 and Jan. 28.
Majok on the Glass
• For the season, Majok Majok ranks 13th nationally and leads the Mid-American Conference at 10.3 rebounds per game. He averages nearly two rebounds per game better than his nearest competitor in the league rankings (WMU's Shayne Whittington, 8.4).
• 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.
• Ball State is 2-7 in conference play, but the Cardinals have either led or been within one point during the second half in five of those losses.
• Here is a closer look at those five games:
Opponent -- Leading or trailing by one (Time) -- Final score
Kent State (1/12) -- BSU trailed 45-44 (6:55) -- Kent State won 61-47
Akron (1/16) -- BSU trailed 47-46 (10:48) -- Akron won 71-64
Central Michigan (1/19) -- BSU led 41-35 (18:04) -- Central Michigan won 71-57
Buffalo (1/23) -- BSU led 49-46 (8:29) -- Buffalo won 66-63
Toledo (1/30) -- BSU led 47-43 (15:07) -- Toledo won 85-78
Cleaning Up on the Glass
• Ball State has out-rebounded eight of its first nine Mid-American Conference opponents, including Miami by 20 (37-17), Toledo by 16 (41-25) and Eastern Michigan by 13 (29-16).
• The Cardinals were out-rebounded for the first time in league play last Saturday at Bowling Green by a 30-26 margin.
• Ball State has out-rebounded its opponents by an average of 36.1 to 29.0 in league play for a +7.1 margin that ranks second in the MAC behind Akron.
• For the season, the Cardinals are +3.9 on the boards on average.
Scaife, Berry on Career Treys List
• Senior guard Jauwan Scaife is now second on BSU's career 3-pointers list with 173, behind only Patrick Jackson (1998-2002), who holds the school record at 202.
• Junior guard Jesse Berry is quickly climbing the list, as well. He now owns 142 career 3-pointers to tie for sixth in school history. He is 12 treys away from cracking the top five.
Scaife Joins 1,000-Point Club
• With 17 points Jan. 16 at Akron, senior guard Jauwan Scaife surpassed the 1,000-point mark for his career.
• The local product from Muncie Central High School became the 26th member of Ball State's 1,000-point club. He now owns 1,106 points to rank 23rd in school history.
High Volume Rebounding
• Despite having his minutes limited for much of the season with a back problem, junior forward Matt Kamieniecki ranks second on the team at 5.9 rebounds per game.
• Kamieniecki averages 12.8 rebounds per 40 minutes for the second-best average on the team behind Majok Majok (13.2).
• By comparison, Siena's O.D. Anosike, who is tied for the national lead with 11.6 rebounds per game, is pulling down 12.3 boards per 40 minutes.
Berry's Explosive Performances
• Junior guard Jesse Berry scored 20 points Jan. 26 at Miami for his fifth 20-point game of the season and the seventh of his career.
• Berry, the MAC West Player of the Week twice this season and three times in his career, 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.
• Ball State has used only two starting lineups the entire season.
• Guards Jesse Berry and Jauwan Scaife, forwards Chris Bond and Majok Majok, and center Zach Fields have composed the starting lineup for 17 of the 21 games.
• Forward Matt Kamieniecki has taken Fields' place in the other four.
Bond Knows How to Finish
• Junior forward Chris Bond has connected on 52.4 percent of his career field goal attempts, which is on pace to rank seventh in school history.
• Bond is shooting 57.4 percent in MAC play this season (third-best in the league), including an 8-for-8 effort at Eastern Michigan, where he scored a career-high 18 points and hit the game-winning free throws.
Bond Stealing the Show
• Chris Bond ranks first in the Mid-American Conference in steals with an average of 2.2 per game and second in league games only at 2.6 per game.
• Bond matched his career-high with five steals, all in the first half, Jan. 26 at Miami.
• He has had seven games this year with at least four steals.
• Bond's 46 steals have already surpassed his previous career high of 29 steals last season.
Majok's Dunk a Finalist for Play of the Year
• Majok Majok's buzzer-beating dunk to defeat Norfolk State on Jan. 2 won its round of fan voting to become a finalist for the GEICO Play of the Year.
• The play beat out three others during its week of voting and will be one of eight finalists up for the award in another round of fan voting in March at facebook.com/BestofCollegeBasketball. All eight finalists will appear on the Best of College Basketball show April 6 on CBS.
Posley the Distributor
• Freshman guard Marcus Posley leads the Ball State guards with a 1.7-to-1 assist/turnover ratio.
• Posley has reached five assists in five games this year, including a career-best six helpers without a turnover in the season-opening win over Grambling State.
• In all five of those games, Posley has had one turnover or fewer.
Fields Gets Smaller to Play Bigger Role
• After four years in the program, fifth-year senior center Zach Fields made his first career start in the season opener against Grambling State and has gone on to start 17 of Ball State's 21 games.
• The 6-foot-10 Fields, who has lost 30 pounds in an effort to make a greater impact, is averaging 17.8 minutes per game this year after never logging more than 5.4 minutes per game previously.
• Fields made the most of the opportunity in the opener versus Grambling, logging career highs with 10 points and eight rebounds. His previous career bests were four points and four boards.
• He scored eight points in the MAC-opening win at Eastern Michigan and finished with nine Jan. 19 at Central Michigan.
Second-Half Shooting Improvement
• 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 45.1 percent in the second half of games compared to 38.7 percent in the first half. BSU is scoring 33.9 points in the second half compared to 28.9 in the first.
• Ball State's interior players have been especially efficient over the final 20 minutes of games with Chris Bond shooting 58.2 percent, Majok 57.6 percent, and Zach Fields 56.7 percent in the second half of games.
Ramey Misses Time
• Freshman guard Michael Ramey has been out for the past 10 games as he recovers from an illness suffered in December.
• Ramey played in 10 of the Cardinals' first 11 games and scored in double figures twice -- 11 points versus Wofford and 10 against Holy Cross (Ind.).
• Ball State won both its last non-conference game and its first MAC contest 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.