Men's Hoops to Meet Buffalo Wednesday at MAC Tourney
MUNCIE, Ind. -- The Ball State men's basketball team travels to Cleveland, Ohio, as the No. 5 seed for this week's Mid-American Conference Tournament at Quicken Loans Arena.
The Cardinals (15-14, 8-8 MAC) have a bye and will play Wednesday at 6:30 p.m. against No. 8 seed Buffalo (12-19, 7-9 MAC). The Bulls advanced with a 74-72 home victory over No. 9 seed Central Michigan in Monday's first round.
Wednesday's Ball State-Buffalo game will be televised by SportsTime Ohio with the broadcast also carried by Comcast Indiana and streamed on ESPN3.com.
Ball State enters the tournament on a hot streak, having won five games in a row and seven of its past eight. The Cardinals secured the No. 5 seed and the last bye in the tournament with a win Saturday over Northern Illinois in their final regular-season game.
• 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
• Television: SportsTime Ohio and ESPN3.com through semifinals; ESPN2 for championship game
The MAC Tournament Road
• Ball State opens tournament play in the second round Wednesday against No. 8 seed Buffalo.
• Waiting further down the line in Ball State's half of the bracket are No. 4 seed Kent State, which has a bye into the third round, and No. 1 seed Akron, which has a bye into the semifinals.
• The other half of the bracket includes No. 2 seed Ohio, No. 3 seed Western Michigan, No. 6 seed Bowling Green, No. 7 seed Eastern Michigan, No. 10 seed Northern Illinois and No. 11 seed Miami.
• Toledo is ineligible for the postseason and is not competing in this year's tournament.
A Quick Look at the Cardinals
• Ball State closed the regular season with wins in five straight and seven of its last eight.
• The Cardinals were 2-7 through their first nine league games but rallied to finish 8-8 in MAC play (15-14 overall) and grab the No. 5 seed in this week's tournament.
• BSU secured its seed Saturday with a 53-51 win over Northern Illinois to close the regular season.
• The Cardinals trailed by as many as 16 in the first half and 11 in the second half before pulling through for their largest come-from-behind win of the season. With a loss, Ball State would have dropped to the No. 8 seed and played a first-round home game Monday.
• Jauwan Scaife, who led the Cardinals with 17 points against NIU, finished as the MAC's second-leading scorer in conference play at 19.9 points per game.
• The senior guard averaged 24.0 points over the last eight games when BSU went 7-1.
• Scaife leads Ball State for the season at 16.2 points per game, followed by junior guard Jesse Berry at 13.0 per game and junior forward Majok Majok at 10.7.
• Majok, who leads the MAC and ranks 17th nationally at 9.9 boards per game, spent the majority of the season averaging a double-double.
• Jauwan Scaife and Majok Majok were honored Monday with the release of the All-MAC teams as selected by the league's head coaches.
• Scaife was named to the All-MAC Second Team, while Majok earned third-team recognition.
The Series with Buffalo
• The Cardinals hold a 13-9 lead in the all-time series with the Bulls.
• Ball State lost its only meeting with Buffalo this season, falling 66-63 in Muncie on Jan. 23 in a game that featured 11 lead changes in the second half.
• Jauwan Scaife scored 18 points in the game to lead Ball State, while Buffalo's Javon McCrea led all scorers with 24.
• The teams have met twice previously in the MAC Tournament with Buffalo winning both.
• The Bulls defeated the Cardinals 80-72 in a first-round game in Buffalo in 2006 and posted a 64-52 victory over BSU in the semifinals of the 2009 tournament in Cleveland.
All-Time in the MAC Tournament
• Ball State owns the most MAC Tournament championships in league history with seven. Ohio has six tournament titles and Kent State has five.
• The Cardinals are looking for their first league tournament crown since 2000.
• Ball State has advanced to the semifinals 20 times in its 31 tournament appearances.
• The Cardinals are returning to Cleveland after a one-year absence, having lost a first-round game last season at Western Michigan.
• BSU advanced to the semifinals the last time the Cardinals made it to Cleveland in 2011.
Cardinals at Quicken
• This season marks the 14th year Quicken Loans Arena (formerly Gund Arena) in Cleveland will host the MAC Tournament.
• Ball State won the first tournament in Cleveland in 2000 and owns a 7-7 record in tournament games at Quicken Loans Arena. (With first-round games on campus sites some years, the Cardinals have not advanced to Cleveland all 14 times).
• Ball State closed its regular season with wins in seven of its final eight games (6-1 in the MAC plus a BracketBusters win over Southeast Missouri), including the last five in a row.
• The Cardinals found themselves tied for 11th overall in the MAC standings at 2-7 through their first nine league games entering the Feb. 9 contest with Western Michigan.
• Ball State climbed six spots in the overall MAC standings over the final month of the season and secured the No. 5 seed and a first-round bye with a victory over Northern Illinois on the final day of the regular season.
• In Ball State's 53-51 win over Northern Illinois in the regular-season finale, the Cardinals snapped a streak of four straight games scoring 85 points or more.
• The Cardinals averaged 88.8 points over that stretch with a season-high 95 in the Feb. 27 win over Central Michigan.
• It was the first time a Ball State team reached 85 points in four consecutive games since the 1973-74 team did it in six straight during January of that season.
• The 95 points against Central Michigan were the most for Ball State in a conference game since a 96-86 victory over Eastern Michigan in January 2005.
Scaife's MAC Scoring Numbers
• Jauwan Scaife's 19.9 points-per-game average in MAC play was second only to Central Michigan's Kyle Randall (20.8).
• Scaife's scoring average in league games was the highest by a Ball State player since Chris Williams scored 25.5 points per game during the conference slate in the 2002-03 season.
• Scaife put up his impressive numbers in the league by bouncing back from a slow start to his season, in which he averaged 9.5 points through the first 10 games.
Scaife During the Stretch Run
• Jauwan Scaife averaged 24.0 points over the final eight games of the regular season (Ball State went 7-1) and 22.7 points over the last 11 contests.
• During that stretch, Scaife recorded two of the seven 30-point performances by MAC players in league games this year with 30 points against Western Michigan (Feb. 9) and 34 against Central Michigan (Feb. 27).
• 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).
More on Scaife's Scoring
• Jauwan Scaife is one of only three players in the conference (Buffalo's Javon McCrea and CMU's Kyle Randall) with multiple 30-point games this year.
• His 34 points vs. CMU are the most in a game by any player in the MAC this season
• His 13 league games with at least 17 points were the most in the conference.
Scaife in Crunch Time
• Jauwan Scaife scored seven points, including the game-winning 3-pointer, in the final 1:33 of the Feb. 23 win at Southeast Missouri.
• Over the last 11 games, Scaife scored more than one-third of his points in the final five minutes of action. He logged 7.5 of his 22.7 average in the last five minutes over that 11-game stretch while shooting 53.6 percent from the floor, 52.9 percent from 3-point range and 84.6 percent from the foul line in those last five minutes.
Berry's Explosive Performances
• Junior guard Jesse Berry topped the 20-point mark twice in the final three regular season games with those performances coming against the teams that finished tied atop the MAC West.
• Berry scored 22 in the Jan. 30 win at Toledo and then matched his career high with 28 in the March 5 victory at Western Michigan.
• Over those two games, he combined for 50 points in just 47 minutes on the court.
• Berry has now reached the 20-point mark seven times this season and nine times in his career.
• He scored 28 points for the first time earlier this season against Cleveland State.
• Junior forward Majok Majok spent the majority of the season averaging a double-double and enters the MAC Tournament just shy of one at 10.7 points and 9.9 rebounds per game.
• There are currently only 15 players in the country averaging a double-double.
• Majok is seeking to become the first Cardinal to average a double-double for a season since Theron Smith, who tallied 19.6 points and 10.9 rebounds per game in 2001-02.
• Majok, who ranks third in the MAC with nine double-doubles on the year, posted nearly identical numbers to his overall numbers in league play at 10.8 points and 9.8 rebounds per game.
• His best game came at MAC regular-season co-champion Akron, where he scored a career-high 26 points to go along with 13 rebounds.
• 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 on the Glass
• For the season, Majok Majok ranks 17th nationally and leads the Mid-American Conference at 9.9 rebounds per game. He has had seven games this year with 13 or more boards.
• 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.
Bond Knows How to Finish
• Over the last four games of the regular season, junior forward Chris Bond hit 65.7 percent of his shots from the floor and averaged 13.2 points.
• Bond has connected on 53.4 percent of his career field goal attempts, which is on pace to rank sixth in school history.
• He shot 60.0 percent in MAC play this season (second-best in the league behind Akron's Zeke Marshall), including an 8-for-8 effort Jan. 9 at Eastern Michigan, where he scored a career-high 18 points and hit the game-winning free throws in the final second.
Bond Stealing the Show
• Chris Bond ranks tied for second in the MAC in steals with an average of 2.0 per game.
• Bond matched his career high with five steals, all in the second half, Jan. 26 at Miami.
• He has had eight games this year with at least four steals.
• Bond's 60 steals already have doubled his previous career high of 29 steals last season.
• His 1.3 steals-per-game average for his career currently ranks ninth in school history.
Scaife in the Record Books
• Jauwan Scaife surpassed the 1,000-point mark for his career earlier this season at Akron.
• The local product from Muncie Central High School became the 26th member of Ball State's 1,000-point club. He now owns 1,298 points to rank 14th in school history.
• Scaife also ranks among the school's all-time leaders in career games played (119, 8th), minutes played (3,333, 8th), starts (92, T-9th), free throws made (316, 11th) and free throw percentage (.784, 13th).
Scaife, Berry on Career Treys List
• Jauwan Scaife ranks second on BSU's career 3-pointers list with 196, trailing only Patrick Jackson (1998-2002), who holds the school record at 202.
• Junior guard Jesse Berry is quickly climbing the list, as well. He has moved up to No. 5 in program history with 157 career 3-pointers and needs just six more to move into the top three.
• During MAC play this year, Scaife ranked second in the league with 2.8 3-pointers per game and Berry was third at 2.7. Berry shot 41.2 percent from beyond the arc in conference games.
Playing Well Away from Home
• The MAC Tournament will mark Ball State's first action at a neutral site this season, but the Cardinals have found plenty of success away from home.
• Ball State finished the regular season with a 7-6 record on the road, including a 5-3 mark in MAC road games.
• The Cardinals' seven total road wins are tied with Akron and Ohio for second-most in the MAC this year behind Kent State's eight. BSU's five road wins in MAC play were second only to the seven league wins for the Zips and Bobcats.
• In conference games, Ball State shot nearly seven percentage points higher on the road than at home (47.8 percent on the road, 40.9 percent at home).
• The Cardinals improved their play at home down the stretch. Ball State finished 3-5 in MAC home games, but all three wins came in their final four games at Worthen Arena.
Cleaning Up on the Glass
• BSU out-rebounded 12 of its 16 Mid-American Conference opponents during the regular season.
• The Cardinals out-rebounded their opponent by double digits in five of those games: March 2 at Toledo (45-24), Jan. 26 at Miami (37-17), Jan. 30 vs. Toledo (41-25), Jan. 9 at Eastern Michigan (29-16) and Feb. 16 vs. Eastern Michigan (33-23).
• Ball State's +5.2 average rebounding margin in conferences games ranked second in the MAC behind Akron.
• The Cardinals managed to defeat Northern Illinois in the regular-season finale despite being out-rebounded by 13, which matched their largest deficit of the season on the boards.
High Volume Rebounding
• Despite having his minutes limited for much of the season with a back problem, junior forward Matt Kamieniecki is tied for second on the team at 6.0 rebounds per game.
• Kamieniecki averages 11.5 rebounds per 40 minutes for the second-best average on the team behind Majok Majok (12.8).
Posley the Distributor
• Freshman guard Marcus Posley leads Ball State with 2.9 assists per game and a 1.55-to-1 assist/turnover ratio.
• Posley had a career-high eight assists Feb. 23 at Southeast Missouri and dished out five March 2 at Toledo for his eighth game of the year with at least five assists.
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 21 of Ball State's 29 games.
• The 6-foot-10 Fields, who has lost 30 pounds in an effort to make a greater impact, is averaging 15.6 minutes per game this year after never logging more than 5.4 minutes per game previously.
• Fields logged career highs with 10 points and eight rebounds in the Grambling State game.
Going Down to the Wire
• Ball State has won three games this season by scoring in the final second.
• The Cardinals defeated Norfolk State on Majok Majok's dunk as time expired Jan. 2, Eastern Michigan on Chris Bond's free throws with no time left Jan. 9 and Southeast Missouri on Jauwan Scaife's 3-pointer with 0.3 seconds remaining Feb. 23.
• Ball State won with its defense in the final second Sunday against Northern Illinois as the Huskies missed a contested 3-point attempt at the buzzer in the Cardinals' 53-51 victory.