Toledo (7-10) at Ball State (8-10)
The Sports Network
DATE & TIME: Wednesday, January 30, 7 p.m. (et)
FACTS & STATS: Site: Worthen Arena (11,500) -- Muncie, Indiana. Television: None. Home Record: Toledo 4-2, BSU 5-5. Away Record: Toledo 2-8, BSU 3-5. Neutral Record: Toledo 1-0, BSU 0-0. Conference Record: Toledo 3-3, BSU 2-4. Series Record: Toledo leads, 42-39.
GAME NOTES: Both sides hope to build some momentum as the Toledo Rockets visit Worthen Arena for a Mid-American Conference bout with the Ball State Cardinals on Wednesday.
Although Ball State is 25-13 against the Rockets in Muncie, Toledo holds a 42-39 all-time series edge. The Cardinals have won three of the past four meetings over the past two seasons.
Toledo coasted to a 75-62 decision over Bowling Green on Saturday to end a three-game slide. Dominique Buckley scored 20 points to lead four Toledo players in double figures. Julius Brown finished with 14 points and seven assists, Rian Pearson added 14 points and nine rebounds and Nathan Boothe chipped in 10 points to help the Rockets stop their rapid decline. The victory boosted Toledo to a 7-10 overall record and to the .500 mark in the league standings.
Toledo is the second worst squad in the MAC defensively with an allowed average of 69.7 ppg. Its inability to limit the opposition was not apparent versus BGSU, as the Falcons shot 42.4 percent from the field to net just 62 points. Toledo was nearly perfect from the charity stripe, converting 26-of-27 free-throw tries to go along with a .468 field goal percentage in the tilt. The Rockets also outrebounded the Falcons by a 37-25 margin and dealt out 14 assists to 13 turnovers.
Leading the way offensively for Toledo is Pearson (16.5 ppg, 6.5 rpg), who is the MAC's fifth leading scorer. Brown is 13th in the league with 13.0 ppg and second with 7.2 assists per contest, but he is shooting a rather pedestrian 39.3 percent from the floor. Buckley's recent scoring streak has put hi just below a double-digit scoring average as well. The Rockets are at their best when they are attacking the rim and getting to the foul line, as they lead the conference and rank among the national leaders in free- throw percentage (.835).
The Cardinals snapped their own four-game losing slide over the weekend with an 82-62 rout of Miami-Ohio on the road, which improved them to an 8-10 standing and a 2-4 in the MAC record. Majok Majok tallied 21 points and eight boards in the win and Jesse Berry added 20 points. Chris Bond posted 16 points, seven boards, five steals, and four assists. Jauwan Scaife chipped in 14 points and seven assists to round out the collective effort.
Majok and Berry are tied for the team scoring lead at 12.6 ppg, followed by Scaife, who nets 12.2 per contest. Majok also leads the conference and ranks 17th nationally with 10.1 rebounds per tilt. Despite the trio's production, Ball State is scoring just 63.1 ppg to the 66.2 ppg it allows.
Both these teams have developed three-headed attacks that will serve them well throughout the rest of the season. Toledo is a much more potent offensive unit, but Majok makes BSU a tough team to compete with on the glass. The Rockets can steal one on the road if they continue to attack the rim and take advantage of their charity tosses.
Sports Network Predicted Outcome: Toledo 68, Ball State 65
01/30 10:34:44 ET