Cardinals Host Buffalo Wednesday in Men's Basketball
MUNCIE, Ind. -- The Ball State men's basketball team is back home to host Buffalo for a 7 p.m. tipoff Wednesday at Worthen Arena as Mid-American Conference play continues.
The game will be televised by Ball State Sports Link with the broadcast airing on Comcast Indiana 81 and being streamed live on ballstatesports.com.
The Cardinals (7-9, 1-3 MAC) are looking to bounce back from a 71-57 road loss Saturday at Central Michigan, while Buffalo (6-12, 1-3 MAC) is coming off its first league win with a 68-65 victory over Bowling Green.
• Television: Ball State Sports Link (live on Comcast Indiana 81); Play-by-play: Pat Boylan; Analyst: Josh Blessing
• 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 13-8 lead in the all-time series against Buffalo.
• The series dates back to 1958, but 18 of the 21 all-time meetings have come since Buffalo joined the Mid-American Conference in 1998-99. BSU is 12-6 in those MAC meetings.
• The Cardinals are 8-1 in nine previous games with Buffalo in Muncie.
• Ball State has won five of the past seven meetings, but the Bulls defeated the Cardinals last season in Buffalo, 73-57.
A Quick Look at the Cardinals
• Ball State enters the game looking to snap a three-game losing skid that has dropped the Cardinals to 7-9 (1-3 MAC). BSU dropped a 71-57 decision Saturday at Central Michigan.
• BSU returns home to host Buffalo after playing three of its first four league games on the road.
• Junior forward Majok Majok, who averaged 20.0 points and 12.0 rebounds over two games last week, is coming off his third straight double-double with 14 points and 11 boards Saturday at Central Michigan. It was his MAC-leading seventh double-double of the season.
• Senior guard Jauwan Scaife, who recently surpassed the 1,000-point mark for his career, added 13 points against the Chippewas, while Jesse Berry and Zach Fields had nine each.
• Berry -- a junior guard and a preseason all-MAC selection -- leads the Cardinals with an average of 12.4 points per game.
• Majok, who leads the MAC and ranks 14th nationally in rebounding, is one of 17 players in the country averaging a double-double at 12.1 points and 10.5 rebounds per game.
• Scaife gives the Cardinals a third double-figure scorer at 11.8 points per game.
• Buffalo picked up its first MAC win of the season Saturday with a 68-65 home victory over Bowling Green. The Bulls snapped a four-game losing streak to improve to 6-12 (1-3 MAC).
• Junior forward Javon McCrea paces Buffalo with 17.1 points and 7.4 rebounds per game. McCrea, who has upped his averages to 21.5 points and 10.3 boards in league play, trails only Ball State's Majok Majok among MAC players with six double-doubles.
• Sophomore forward Will Regan adds 10.3 points per game for the season, while freshman guard Jarryn Skeete is averaging 10.8 points over Buffalo's four league games.
• Buffalo ranks third in the league in rebounding average (33.0) and rebounding margin (+5.3).
• The Bulls are scoring 64.3 points per game and allowing 66.4.
More on Saturday's Loss at Central Michigan
• Junior forward Matt Kamieniecki made his first start of the season and grabbed a career-best 10 rebounds in a season-high 24 minutes Saturday night.
• Freshman guard Marcus Posley handed out five assists off the bench without a turnover.
• The Cardinals held a 41-25 lead early in the second half, but 12 BSU second-half turnovers and nine Central Michigan offensive rebounds after halftime helped the Chippewas pull out the win.
Majok's Dunk Nominated for Play of the Year
• Majok Majok's buzzer-beating dunk to defeat Norfolk State on Jan. 2 has been nominated for the GEICO Play of the Year.
• Majok's play is up against three others in fan voting this week with the winner moving on to become one of eight finalists.
• Fans can vote for Majok through Jan. 28 at facebook.com/BestofCollegeBasketball.
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. He now owns 1,016 points as a Cardinal.
•The local product from Muncie Central High School became the 26th member of Ball State's 1,000-point club.
• Ball State used a new starting lineup for the first time this season Saturday at Central Michigan, swapping forward Matt Kamieniecki for center Zach Fields for matchup purposes.
• Both players responded well as Kamieniecki grabbed a career-high 10 rebounds and Fields scored nine points, one off his career high.
• The Cardinals used the same starting lineup in each of its previous 15 games: guards Jesse Berry and Jauwan Scaife, forwards Chris Bond and Majok Majok, and Fields at center.
Cleaning Up on the Glass
• Ball State has out-rebounded all four of its Mid-American Conference opponents.
• The Cardinals out-rebounded Eastern Michigan, 29-16, Kent State, 48-39, Akron, 33-32, and Central Michigan, 37-34.
• Ball State has out-rebounded its opponents by an average of 36.8 to 30.3 in league play for a +6.5 average that ranks second in the MAC.
• For the season, the Cardinals are +2.8 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 44.7 percent in the second half of games compared to 38.0 percent in the first half. BSU is scoring 33.2 points in the second half compared to 28.9 in the first.
• Those numbers were reversed Saturday at Central Michigan when Ball State shot 46.4 percent and scored 37 points in the first half compared to 34.6 percent with 20 points in the second.
• The biggest half-to-half jump individually comes from freshman guard Marcus Posley, who is shooting 48.1 percent in the second half compared to 19.6 percent in the first.
• Junior forward Majok Majok is one of 17 players in the nation averaging a double-double at 12.1 points and 10.5 rebounds per game.
• He has posted three straight double-doubles, including a career-best 26-point effort to go along with 13 rebounds Jan. 16 at Akron. His seven double-doubles on the year lead 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 14th 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.
Scaife, Berry on Career Treys List
• With 27 treys this season, senior guard Jauwan Scaife has moved into fourth place on Ball State's career 3-pointers list with 160.
• Scaife recently moved past former Cardinal Chris Williams (2001-03) for fourth on the all-time list. He is one shy of Randy Zachary (1993-97) for third and just three behind Peyton Stovall (2003-08) for second. The all-time leader is Patrick Jackson (1998-2002) with 202.
• Junior guard Jesse Berry has also climbed into the top 10 on that list. He now owns 128 career 3-pointers to rank ninth.
Bond Knows How to Finish
• Junior forward Chris Bond has earned a reputation as a finisher at the basket.
• The junior forward has connected on 52.3 percent of his career field goal attempts, which is on pace to rank seventh in school history.
• 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 2.1 per game and second in league games only at 2.5 per game.
• Bond had a career-high five steals vs. Wofford and has recorded four steals in four other games.
• Just 16 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 15.5 points per game over the past six 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 41.3 percent from the floor (31-for-75) and 37.0 percent from beyond the arc (17-for-46) over the past five outings.
Posley the Distributor
• Freshman guard Marcus Posley leads the Cardinals with an average of 3.1 assists per game, and his 1.9-to-1 assist/turnover ratio ranks fifth in the MAC.
• 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.
• He is coming off a game with five assists and zero turnovers Saturday at Central Michigan.
• Posley has had only four games this season with more than two turnovers.
• Before its three-game losing streak, 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.
High Volume Rebounding
• Junior forward Matt Kamieniecki is averaging 0.330 rebounds per minute, having grabbed 69 rebounds in 209 minutes, slightly leading Majok Majok (0.329) for the best average on the team.
• By comparison, Towson's Jerrelle Benimon, who leads the nation with 11.7 rebounds per game, is pulling down 0.324 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 five 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.).
Berry's Explosive Performances
• Junior guard Jesse Berry has topped the 20-point mark four times this season.
• Berry, who leads Ball State with 12.4 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.
Koch Back in Action
• Junior forward Tyler Koch is now eight 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.
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 went on to start the first 15 games.
• 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 in the MAC-opening win at Eastern Michigan and added nine more Saturday at Central Michigan when he came off the bench for the first time.
• The 6-foot-10 Fields, who has lost 30 pounds in an effort to make a greater impact, is averaging 18.2 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 411 games with 212 starts for the Cardinals.
• Senior guard Jauwan Scaife is the most experienced, having played in 106 games (79 starts).
• Junior guard Jesse Berry (78 games, 31 starts), junior forwards Chris Bond (74 games, 55 starts), Matt Kamieniecki (60 games, 12 starts) and Tyler Koch (35 games, 22 starts), and senior center Zach Fields (58 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).
Home Sweet Home
• Earlier this season, Ball State played its 300th game at Worthen Arena.
• The facility, formerly known as University Arena, opened Jan. 15, 1992 for that season's Mid-American Conference home opener against Miami University. Ball State won the game, 70-64.
• The Cardinals own an all-time record of 222-85 at the facility for a .725 winning percentage.