Akron (8-5) at Ball State (3-8)
The Sports Network
DATE & TIME: Wednesday, January 8, 7 p.m. (ET)
FACTS & STATS: Site: John. E. Worthen Arena (11,500) -- Muncie, Indiana. Television: None. Home Record: Akron 6-0, Ball State 3-2. Away Record: Akron 1-3, Ball State 0-6. Neutral Record: Akron 1-2, Ball State 0-0. Conference Record: Akron 0-0, Ball State 0-0. Series Record: Akron leads, 17-15.
GAME NOTES: As the Akron Zips and Ball State Cardinals enter Mid-American Conference play Wednesday, both programs look to secure a win as they clash in Muncie at Worthen Arena.
Akron has won two games in a row following a three-game losing skid. The Zips haven't taken the court in nearly a week, but look to build on an 8-5 overall record as they get conference play underway with a trip to struggling Ball State. Akron defeated Marshall on Jan. 2, 59-58.
The Cardinals are looking to bounce back from a seven-game losing streak they carried from late November to the end of December. Ball State is coming off a win against lower-division opponent Oakland City, 94-58, that will, for the Cardinals, hopefully get their confidence back.
Akron holds a slim all-time series advantage, 17-15, but has a nine-game win streak going over the Cardinals. The Zips have won the last four contests they've played in Muncie.
Akron led Marshall 59-52 with 2:18 to play in the team's last outing, allowing the Thundering Herd to make one last comeback effort. The Zips held on to secure a one-point victory in the last non-conference matchup of the season for the program. Only one player recorded double-digit scoring numbers against Marshall. Isaiah Johnson netted 12 points on 6-of-10 shooting coming off the bench. Johnson grabbed seven rebounds - six on the offensive glass - and had two steals. Pat Forsythe scored nine and pulled down six rebounds in the win.
Demetrius "Tree" Treadwell leads the Zips in scoring this season with a 12.8 ppg average, and is tops in rebounding with a 7.6 rpg clip. The senior is connecting on 45.9 percent of his shots from the floor this season. Quincy Diggs is the second and only other Zips player to record a double figure scoring average this season, netting 11.5 per contest. Diggs leads Akron with a 3.3 apg mark. The Zips as a team average 69.3 ppg.
Ball State was dominant in the team's 94-58 win over Oakland City, which snapped a seven-game losing streak as the team heads into conference play. Five players recorded double-digit scoring figures in the win for the Cardinals, including Majok Majok's 25 points and career-high 18 rebounds. Majok was 7-of-10 shooting from the floor and hit 11-of-12 free-throw attempts. Chris Bond netted 16, Mark Alstork had 13, Zavier Turner scored 12 and reserve player Jesse Berry contributed 10 in the winning effort.
Turner leads the squad this season in overall scoring, averaging 13.4 ppg for a team that scores 67.1 ppg. Berry (11.3 ppg), Majok (10.8 ppg) and Bond (10.5 ppg) round out the Cardinals averaging double-digit point totals through 11 games. Majok leads the Cardinals this season in rebounding, averaging a double-double through the team's first 11 outings with 10.6 rpg. Turner tops the Cardinals in total assists with 46 and is tied for the team lead with 12 steals.
Ball State has some talented players on its roster, but has only beaten one Division I opponent this season. The Zips will prove too tough for the Cardinals in the MAC opener.
Sports Network Predicted Outcome: Akron 75, Ball State 59
01/08 11:14:48 ET