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The Sports Network
DATE & TIME: Wednesday, January 15, 8 p.m. (ET)
FACTS & STATS: Site: Convocation Center (13,080) -- Athens, Ohio. Television: Time Warner Cable SportsChannel, ESPN3.com. Home Record: Ball State 3-3, Ohio 7-2. Away Record: Ball State 0-7, Ohio 4-2. Neutral Record: Ball State 0-0, Ohio 0-0. Conference Record: Ball State 0-2, Ohio 1-1. Series Record: Ohio leads, 41-34.
GAME NOTES: The Ball State Cardinals are trying to turn around a very rough patch in their season as they travel to face the Ohio University Bobcats in Mid-American Conference play at the Convocation Center.
Ball State has lost two games in a row and nine of the team's last 10 games. Prior to a win against Oakland City, the Cardinals were experiencing a seven- game losing skid. On Saturday, Ball State lost to MAC foe Kent State, 86-74.
Ohio is on the other end of the figurative spectrum at 11-4 this season and just a game back of the MAC East Division lead. The Bobcats had a four-game win streak snapped by Akron in double overtime in their last outing, 83-80, despite holding a lead down the stretch.
Ohio holds a 41-34 edge in the all-time series between the two programs. The Bobcats have won four of the last five meetings with Ball State.
Ball State was able to build up a lead against Kent State in the first half that eventually reached double digits, but the Golden Flashes stormed back in the second half to take control of the game and downed the Cardinals 86-74 in MAC play. Mark Alstork scored a Cardinals high 15 points and grabbed 10 rebounds for the double-double. He also dished out five assists and turned the ball over four times. Majok Majok netted 14 points and pulled down seven rebounds, while Zavier Turner added 12 points and Chris Bond scored 10.
Turner paces the Cardinals this season in scoring with 12.7 ppg. Ball State has had a bit of trouble on the offensive end, averaging 67.7 ppg while letting its opposition score 73.7 ppg. The Cardinals connect on 41.5 percent of their shots from the floor. Majok scores 11.5 ppg and leads the team with an impressive 10.5 rpg. His 56.6 percent shooting is a team best among players that have participated in all 13 games.
Ohio fought to two overtime periods against MAC leader Akron on Sunday, but came up short in the second extra period, 83-80. The Bobcats led by four with 22 seconds to play in the first overtime period, but the Zips were able to tie the game up. Maurice Ndour scored a career-high 25 points for the Bobcats on 8-of-14 shooting, hitting 9-of-10 from the free-throw line. He added six rebounds before fouling out of the contest. The Bobcats shot 41.9 percent from the floor, including 25 percent from 3-point range.
Nick Kellogg leads the team this season in scoring with 15.3 ppg. Kellogg scored 19 points in the double-overtime loss to Akron Sunday, boosting his average. Ndour is second on the team at 15.2 ppg and leads the Bobcats in rebounding with 7.6 rpg. Ohio nets an average of 72.8 ppg on 44.1 percent shooting through 15 outings.
Ohio and Ball State are heading in two opposite directions this season, and it's not a favorable direction for the Cardinals. Look for Ohio's offense to take advantage of a weak Ball State defense, especially after a tough conference loss.
Sports Network Predicted Outcome: Ohio University 77, Ball State 65
01/15 10:36:44 ET
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