Cardinals Visit Bowling Green for Saturday Men's Hoops
MUNCIE, Ind. -- The Ball State men's basketball team hits the road this weekend for a 2 p.m. Saturday matchup at Bowling Green as the Mid-American Conference schedule reaches its midway point.
Ball State (8-11, 2-5 MAC) is looking to bounce back from an 85-78 home loss Wednesday against Toledo. Bowling Green (7-13, 2-5 MAC) is coming off a 68-55 home loss to Akron.
• Radio (Flagship): Ball State Radio Network (104.1 FM WLBC); Play-by-play: Joel Godett; Analyst: David Eha
• Television: Buckeye Cable Sports Network (Northwest Ohio markets)
• Internet: Live audio and stats at ballstatesports.com; live video at mac-sports.com
• Ball State trails Bowling Green 41-34 in the all-time series that dates back to 1965.
• The Falcons have won 26 of the 36 meetings in Bowling Green.
• Bowling Green has won the past five meetings on its home court with the last Ball State road victory in the series coming in 2004.
• The Falcons have won the matchup each of the past two seasons, including a 61-54 victory last February in Muncie.
A Quick Look at the Cardinals
• Ball State dropped an 85-78 decision Wednesday against Toledo to fall to 8-11 (2-5 MAC).
• The Cardinals placed four scorers in double figures for the second straight game, led by senior guard Jauwan Scaife with a season-high 23 points.
• Ball State held a 37-35 lead at the half but found itself trailing by 15 midway through the second half. The Cardinals cut the deficit to three in the final minute but ultimately ran out of time.
• Junior forward Majok Majok scored 16 points and grabbed 15 rebounds against the Rockets for his MAC-leading eighth double-double of the year.
• For the season, a trio of Cardinals leads the team offensively with remarkably similar offensive production. Berry -- a preseason all-conference selection -- is scoring 12.9 points per game, followed closely by Scaife and Majok at 12.8 per game each.
• Ball State is one four teams in the MAC with three players averaging double figures and the only one with three in the top 12 in the league in scoring -- Berry 10th, Majok and Scaife T-11th.
• Majok, who leads the MAC and ranks 14th nationally in rebounding, is one of 16 players in the country averaging a double-double at 12.8 points and 10.4 rebounds per game.
• Ball State is averaging 80.0 points per game over its past two outings.
Scouting Bowling Green
• Bowling Green is coming off a 68-55 loss Wednesday to Akron that dropped the Falcons to 7-13 (2-5 MAC). BGSU's two league wins have come at home -- 46-44 over Eastern Michigan and 70-55 over Kent State.
• Bowling Green features two of the top six scorers in the MAC in Jordon Crawford (15.9 points per game) and A'uston Calhoun (15.5).
• The Falcons are shooting 40.2 percent from the floor as a team and scoring 61.6 points per game while surrendering 42.7 percent shooting and 63.5 points per game.
More on Wednesday's Loss to Toledo
• Ball State shot better than 45 percent Wednesday and out-rebounded Toledo 41-25.
• Toledo shot nearly 52 percent and turned the ball over only four times all night.
• The Rockets cashed in 15 Ball State turnovers for 25 points.
• Toledo out-scored Ball State 26-11 over a decisive 8-minute stretch in the second half to turn a tie game into a 15-point Rocket lead.
Majok Named MAC West Player of the Week
• Junior forward Majok Majok was selected Monday as the MAC West Division Player of the Week after averaging 17.0 points and 7.0 rebounds over games last week against Buffalo and Miami.
• He shot 64.7 percent (11-of-17) from the floor and 85.7 percent (12-of-14) from the free throw line for the week on the way to his second player-of-the-week award this season (also on Dec. 10).
Clicking on Offense
• Ball State has posted two of its top-4 point totals of the season in the past two games with a season-high 82 points against Miami and 78 versus Toledo.
• The Cardinals are shooting 51.4 percent from the floor over those two contests.
• Four players are averaging more than 15.0 points per game over the past two -- Jesse Berry (19.0), Jauwan Scaife (18.5), Majok Majok (18.5) and Chris Bond (15.5). They account for 89 percent of the Cardinals' scoring over the past two games (143 of 160 points).
Cardinals in Every Game
• Ball State is 2-5 in conference play, but the Cardinals have either led or been within one point during the second half of all five 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
Production at the Top
• Ball State is getting 47.3 points per game from its top-4 scorers -- Jesse Berry (12.9), Majok Majok (12.8), Jauwan Scaife (12.8) and Chris Bond (8.8).
• Among MAC teams, only Toledo (50.8 ppg) is getting more production from its top-4 scorers.
Cleaning Up on the Glass
• Ball State has out-rebounded all seven of its Mid-American Conference opponents, including the past two by 20 and 16.
• The Cardinals have out-rebounded Eastern Michigan (29-16), Kent State (48-39), Akron (33-32), Central Michigan (37-34), Buffalo (33-30), Miami (37-17) and Toledo (41-25) to start MAC play.
• Ball State has out-rebounded its opponents by an average of 36.9 to 27.6 in league play for a +9.3 margin that leads the MAC.
• For the season, the Cardinals are +4.4 on the boards on average.
• Junior forward Majok Majok is one of 16 players in the nation averaging a double-double at 12.8 points and 10.4 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 15.6 points and 10.1 rebounds per game in league play.
• 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 Majok ranks 14th nationally and leads the Mid-American Conference at 10.4 rebounds per game. He averages 2.5 more rebounds per game than his nearest competitor in the league rankings (WMU's Shayne Whittington, 7.9).
• 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.
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 last week to become a finalist for the GEICO Play of the Year.
• The play beat out three others last week 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.
Scaife Second on Treys List
• Senior guard Jauwan Scaife has moved into second place on Ball State's career 3-pointers list with 165.
• He surpassed Peyton Stovall (2003-08) for No. 2 on the list and now trails 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 138 career 3-pointers to rank seventh in school history. He is 17 treys away from cracking the top five.
• 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 16 of the 19 games.
• Forward Matt Kamieniecki has taken Fields' place in three of the past four games.
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 1,071 points to rank 24th in school history.
High Volume Rebounder
• Despite having his minutes limited for much of the season with a back problem, junior forward Matt Kamieniecki ranks third on the team at 5.6 rebounds per game.
• Kamieniecki averages 12.6 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 leads the nation with 12.0 rebounds per game, is pulling down 12.7 boards per 40 minutes.
Scaife Picking up his Offense
• Senior guard Jauwan Scaife is averaging 16.4 points per game over the past nine contests after averaging 9.5 points over the first 10 games of the season.
• Scaife has scored at least 18 points in five of the past nine games, including a season-high 23 points Wednesday versus Toledo.
• 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 9 games: 16.4 ppg, 41.9% FG (44 of 105), 37.5% 3PT (24 of 64)
Bond Knows How to Finish
• Junior forward Chris Bond has connected on 52.8 percent of his career field goal attempts, which is on pace to rank seventh in school history.
• Bond is shooting 60.3 percent in MAC play this season, 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 2.4 per game and first in league games only at 3.1 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.
• Just 19 games into the season, Bond's 45 steals have already surpassed his previous career high of 29 steals as a sophomore last season.
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.
Posley the Distributor
• Freshman guard Marcus Posley leads the Ball State guards with an average of 2.9 assists per game and a 1.96-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.
• He has had only four games all season with more than two turnovers.
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 16 of Ball State's 19 games.
• The 6-foot-10 Fields, who has lost 30 pounds in an effort to make a greater impact, is averaging 17.7 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 added nine more 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 46.1 percent in the second half of games compared to 39.0 percent in the first half. BSU is scoring 34.3 points in the second half compared to 29.7 in the first.
• Ball State's interior players have been especially efficient over the final 20 minutes of games with Chris Bond shooting 59.3 percent, Majok Majok 58.2 percent and Zach Fields 55.2 percent in the second half of games.
Ramey Misses Time
• Freshman guard Michael Ramey has been out for the past eight 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.
Koch Back in Action
• Junior forward Tyler Koch is now 11 games into his return to the court after missing the first eight games of the season with a hand injury.
• Koch scored a season-high 10 points Dec. 23 against IUPUI.
• 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.
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 429 games with 224 starts for the Cardinals.
• Senior guard Jauwan Scaife is the most experienced, having played in 109 games (82 starts).
• Junior guard Jesse Berry (81 games, 34 starts), junior forwards Chris Bond (77 games, 58 starts), Matt Kamieniecki (63 games, 14 starts) and Tyler Koch (38 games, 22 starts), and senior center Zach Fields (61 games, 16 starts) also have a wealth of experience in the Ball State program.