Men's Hoops Hosts Eastern Michigan Saturday at 2 pm
MUNCIE, Ind. -- The Ball State men's basketball team hosts Eastern Michigan for a 2 p.m. tipoff Saturday at Worthen Arena as the teams meet for the second time this season.
The game will be televised by the Ball State Sports Network with the broadcast airing on WIPB in Muncie and WRTV 6 in Indianapolis in addition to the full list of affiliates listed below.
Ball State (10-13, 4-7 MAC) is coming off a 56-52 road victory Wednesday at Northern Illinois, while Eastern Michigan (11-13, 4-6 MAC) is coming off a 70-62 loss at Akron.
• Television: Ball State Sports Network; Play-by-play: Vince Welch; Analyst: Jerry Peirson; Affiliates: Live on WIPB-TV (Muncie), WRTV 6, HTSN 6.2, Comcast 247, Brighthouse 164 (Indianapolis), WANE 15.2 (Fort Wayne), WNDA Indiana 9 (Jeffersonville) and WKYI-TV 24 (Louisville, Ky.); Tape delay on WJTS 18 (Jasper) and WHME 46 (South Bend).
• 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, audio and stats at ballstatesports.com
• Ball State holds a 54-38 lead in the all-time series with Eastern Michigan, dating back to 1947.
• The Cardinals are 23-16 against the Eagles in Muncie, including a 10-7 mark in Worthen Arena.
• One team has swept the season series between the teams each of the past three years.
• Ball State won the first meeting this season, 60-58, in the MAC opener at Eastern Michigan on two Chris Bond free throws in the final second.
• Bond finished 8-for-8 from the floor, matching Jauwan Scaife for game-high honors with 18 points.
A Quick Look at the Cardinals
• Ball State posted its second straight win with a 56-52 victory Wednesday at Northern Illinois to improve to 10-13 overall (4-7 MAC). The Cardinals are fourth in the MAC West standings, a half-game behind Eastern Michigan.
• Senior guard Jauwan Scaife scored 23 points in the win at Northern Illinois, and the Cardinals sank 7 of 8 free throws in the final 35 seconds to seal the victory.
• Freshman guard Marcus Posley added 10 points for BSU, and Chris Bond scored nine.
• Scaife, who has scored 53 points over the past two games, is averaging 17.9 points per game in conference play to rank third in the league.
• He leads Ball State for the season at 14.4 points per game, followed by junior guard Jesse Berry at 12.4 per game and junior forward Majok Majok at 11.6.
• Majok, who leads the MAC and ranks 15th nationally in rebounding, is one of 14 players in the country averaging a double-double at 11.6 points and 10.0 rebounds per game.
Scouting Eastern Michigan
• Eastern Michigan dropped a 70-62 decision to MAC-leading Akron on Wednesday and enters Saturday's game at 11-13 overall (4-6 MAC).
• The Eagles hold a half-game lead on Ball State for third place in the MAC West.
• Senior guard Derek Thompson is averaging 10.7 points per game, while junior forward Glenn Bryant adds 10.2 for the Eagles.
• Eastern Michigan owns one of the top field goal percentage defenses in the MAC, holding opponents to 39.5 percent from the floor and 29.8 percent from beyond the 3-point line (25.2 percent in conference play).
• Despite its 4-6 MAC record, Eastern Michigan has out-scored its opponents by an average of 1.0 point per game in league play.
More on the Win over Northern Illinois
• BSU's victory over Northern Illinois featured a second half with six ties and four lead changes.
• Ball State was 20 for 26 from the foul line for the game, including 15 for 19 in the second half. Jauwan Scaife was 9 for 10 at the stripe.
• After turning the ball over four times before the game's first media timeout, the Cardinals gave it away only six times the rest of the way.
• Ball State held Northern Illinois' top scorers, Abdel Nader and Aksel Bolin, to a combined eight points. Nader finished his night with five points on 1-for-13 shooting.
• Ball State has played the past two games without second-leading scorer Jesse Berry, who has been suffering from concussion-like symptoms.
• It is the first time Berry has missed games for Ball State. He had played in 83 straight games to start his college career.
• The Cardinals have played the past three games without junior forward Tyler Koch (hip), who also missed eight games earlier this season with a thumb injury.
• Ball State has played the entire conference season without freshman guard Michael Ramey as he recovers from illness.
Scaife Going Off
• Junior guard Jauwan Scaife has scored 53 points over the past two games, including a career-high 30 last Saturday against Western Michigan.
• Scaife has scored nearly 44 percent of Ball State's points (53 of 121) over those two games.
• He became the first Cardinal with 30 points in a game since Peyton Stovall (37 vs. IPFW on Dec. 31, 2007) and the first with 30 in a MAC contest since Skip Mills (38 at Buffalo on March 6, 2006).
• His 53 points over a two-game stretch are the most by a Ball State player since Stovall had 55 with 37 in that IPFW game and 18 the next time out against Toledo.
MAC Tournament Positioning
• Ball State is in the thick of the race for a bye in the MAC Tournament with five league games left.
• This year's tournament, which will include only 11 teams because Toledo is ineligible, will feature five teams with first-round byes.
• At 4-7 in conference play, Ball State is just one game out of a tie for the No. 4 spot currently shared by Kent State, Bowling Green and Buffalo at 5-6.
Turnover Differential is Key
• Ball State has dropped its turnover average to 11.0 over the past two games.
• The Cardinals had their lowest turnover output in MAC play Wednesday at Northern Illinois with 10. In the previous game against Western Michigan, Ball State had just 12 turnovers.
• The +8 turnover margin against WMU was Ball State's best since forcing 18 and committing only five on Dec. 5 against Holy Cross (Ind.).
• The Cardinals average 12.6 turnovers per game in their 10 wins but 17.0 giveaways per game in their 13 losses.
Scaife Scoring Consistently
• Senior guard Jauwan Scaife is averaging 18.2 points per game over the past 13 contests after averaging 9.5 points over the first 10 games of the season.
• Scaife has scored at least 18 points in eight of the past 13 games. His 17.9 scoring average in MAC games ranks third 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 13 games: 17.9 ppg, 42.5% FG (71 for 167), 37.2% 3PT (35 for 94)
Production at the Top
• Ball State is the only team in the MAC with three players in the top 16 in the league in scoring -- Jauwan Scaife seventh (14.4 ppg), Jesse Berry 14th (12.4) and Majok Majok 16th (11.6).
• The Cardinals are one of only four teams in the league with three players averaging double-figure scoring. Western Michigan, Ohio and Buffalo are the others.
Home vs. Road in League Play
• Since the start of conference play this season, Ball State has found more success on the road than it has at home.
• The Cardinals are 3-3 on the road in league play and 1-4 at home. BSU picked up its first MAC home win last Saturday against Western Michigan.
• Here is a comparison of the team's offensive numbers at home and on the road in MAC play ...
Road MAC Games: 63.0 ppg, 47.1% FG, 33.6% 3PT
Home MAC Games: 59.0 ppg, 38.0% FG, 27.2% 3PT
• Junior forward Majok Majok is one of 14 players in the nation averaging a double-double at 11.6 points and 10.0 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 is tied for the MAC with eight double-doubles, is averaging 12.0 points and 9.5 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 15th nationally and leads the Mid-American Conference at 10.0 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.
• Ball State is 4-7 in conference play, but the Cardinals have either led or been within one point during the second half in five of their seven 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 11 Mid-American Conference opponents, including Miami by 20 (37-17), Toledo by 16 (41-25) and Eastern Michigan by 13 (29-16).
• The Cardinals have been out-rebounded in each of the past two games versus Western Michigan and Northern Illinois despite winning both games.
• Ball State has out-rebounded its opponents by an average of 34.8 to 30.3 in league play for a +4.5 margin that ranks third in the MAC.
• For the season, the Cardinals are +3.0 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 178, 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. Berry 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 1,159 points to rank 22nd 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 12.1 rebounds per 40 minutes for the second-best average on the team behind Majok Majok (12.9).
• By comparison, Siena's O.D. Anosike, who is tied for the national lead with 11.7 rebounds per game, is pulling down 12.4 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.
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 56.5 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 2.1 per game and second in league games only at 2.4 per game.
• Bond matched his career-high with five steals, all in the second half, Jan. 26 at Miami.
• He has had seven games this year with at least four steals.
• Bond's 49 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 1.55-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 19 of Ball State's 23 games.
• The 6-foot-10 Fields, who has lost 30 pounds in an effort to make a greater impact, is averaging 17.0 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.
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 44.6 percent in the second half of games compared to 39.4 percent in the first half. BSU is scoring 33.7 points in the second half compared to 28.8 in the first.
• The trend was reversed Wednesday at Northern Illinois when Ball State shot 47.6 percent in the first half and 26.1 percent in the second.
• Ball State's interior players have been especially efficient over the final 20 minutes of games with Majok Majok shooting 58.1 percent, Chris Bond 56.9 percent and Zach Fields 53.1 percent in the second half of games.