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The Sports Network
DATE & TIME: Wednesday, February 12, 7 p.m. (ET)
FACTS & STATS: Site: Worthen Arena (11,500) -- Muncie, Indiana. Television: None. Home Record: Eastern Michigan 10-3, Ball State 4-6. Away Record: Eastern Michigan 3-7, Ball State 0-11. Neutral Record: Eastern Michigan 0-0, Ball State 0-0. Conference Record: Eastern Michigan 5-5, Ball State 1-9. Series Record: Ball State leads, 45-35.
GAME NOTES: The Ball State Cardinals seek only their fifth win of the season, as they welcome the Eastern Michigan Eagles to Worthen Arena tonight for a Mid-American Conference clash.
The Cardinals have dropped five in a row following Saturday's 80-73 loss to MAC leader Toledo. The setback dropped Ball State to 1-9 in conference, and 4-17 overall.
Zavier Turner scored 19 points and Majok Majok added 17 points and 11 rebounds for the Cardinals, who rallied from a double-digit deficit to get the game within one possession late, but could not overcome Toledo. Chris Bond chipped in 12 points for Ball State, which committed 14 second-half turnovers to seal its fate.
Turner leads the anemic Ball State offense with 12.4 ppg. Bond adds 11.9 ppg and Majok registers 11.2 ppg and a conference-leading 10 rpg for the Cardinals, who average just 63.8 ppg on only 39.8 percent shooting for the season. Defensively, they allow 72 ppg behind a typical shooting effort of 46.1 percent overall.
Eastern Michigan comes into tonight's contest off a 70-53 win over Kent State on Saturday that ended a two-game slide for the Eagles. Guards Darrell Combs and Raven Lee each scored 15 points to lead EMU, which defeated Kent State for the first time since 1996-97 season. Karrington Ward added 10 points for the Eagles, who led from nearly the start.
The Eagles held a 28-14 lead late in the first half and cruised into the break with a 35-25 edge. In the second half, a 20-3 run by Eastern Michigan grew the lead to 55-35 more than midway through the stanza and the Eagles cruised to just their second win in six contests.
Ward leads the Eagles with 13 ppg and 6.8 rpg, while Glen Bryant adds 10.5 ppg and 5.5 rpg. Lee (10.3) rounds out the double-digit scorers for the Eagles, who don't pack much more punch than the Cardinals. EMU averages just 67.4 ppg on 42 percent shooting. However, they play better at the defensive end than Ball State, allowing only 62.8 ppg on 37 percent shooting.
This is the first of two meetings between these two schools this season. They will also get together on March 4 on Eastern Michigan's home floor. While the Cardinals lead the all-time series, 35-25, these two schools split a pair of meetings last season with each winning on the road.
As for this game, don't expect either team to light up the scoreboard. EMU, though, plays better on defense and should come away with a win.
Sports Network Predicted Outcome: Eastern Michigan 65, Ball State 60
02/12 10:47:56 ET
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