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The Sports Network
DATE & TIME: Wednesday, January 23, 7 p.m. (et)
FACTS & STATS: Site: Worthen Arena (11,500) -- Muncie, Indiana. Television: None. Home Record: UB 4-4, BSU 5-4. Away Record: UB 2-5, BSU 2-5. Neutral Record: UB 0-3, BSU 0-0. Conference Record: UB 1-3, BSU 1-3. Series Record: Ball State leads, 13-8.
GAME NOTES: The Ball State Cardinals return home to Worthen Arena with a losing streak in tow, as they face the Buffalo Bulls in a Mid-American Conference matchup.
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 dropped a 71-57 decision at Central Michigan on Saturday, extending their losing streak to three games and lowering them to a 7-9 overall record. The setback also pinned Ball State with a 1-3 MAC standing after a promising 60-58 victory in its conference opener. While coach Billy Taylor has his squad limiting the opposition to 66.4 ppg, it only produces 62.1 ppg on the offensive end.
Majok Majok registered his seventh double-double of the season in the loss to CMU with 14 points and 11 rebounds. Jauwan Scaife was the only other Cardinal to score in double figures with 13 points. Matt Kamieniecki led the team in rebounding with 10 boards, seven of which came on the offensive end. Majok is averaging a double-double with 12.1 points and a MAC-best 10.5 boards per tilt, while Scaife adds 11.8 ppg. Junior guard Jesse Berry's slump continued over the weekend. The 6-foot-3 guard is atop BSU's scoring column with 12.4 ppg, but he has gone 10-of-32 (31.3 percent) from the floor over his past four games and failed to reach double figures in any game during that span.
Buffalo concluded its four-game losing streak on Saturday by clipping Bowling Green, 68-65, at home to notch its first MAC victory of the season. The Bulls improved to 6-12 (1-3 MAC) in what has been a disappointing year. Coach Reggie Witherspoon's squad is eighth in the conference in both scoring (64.3) and scoring defense (66.4) The Bulls have shown improvement lately by netting 68 points in three of their last four outings.
UB's answer to BSU's double-double machine is junior forward Javon McCrea, who paces the hosts in scoring (17.1) and rebounding (7.4) after registering his sixth double-double of the year versus BGSU with 21 points and 14 boards. McCrea also made the go-ahead layup and added insurance by way of a pair of free throws to push the Bulls past the Falcons. Freshman guard Jarryn Skeete, who added 16 points, made a free throw in the closing seconds to put it out of reach. Skeete has averaged 10.8 ppg in conference play while Will Regan (10.3 ppg, 5.0 rpg) leads the MAC in 3-point shooting percentage (.512).
The Bulls were projected to be one of the toughest outs in the MAC this season but have underachieved with junior point guard Jarod Oldham out with a wrist injury. His absence is beginning to become less vital as Skeete and Tony Watson II show progress. Berry's scoring slump will need to end or BSU's losing streak will continue.
Sports Network Predicted Outcome: Buffalo 69, Ball State 66
01/23 10:34:32 ET
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