Ball State (4-13) at Akron (13-6)
The Sports Network
DATE & TIME: Wednesday, January 29, 7 p.m. (ET)
FACTS & STATS: Site: James A. Rhodes Arena (5,500) -- Akron, Ohio. Television: None. Home Record: Ball State 4-4, Akron 7-1. Away Record: Ball State 0-9, Akron 5-3. Neutral Record: Ball State 0-0, Akron 1-2. Conference Record: Ball State 1-5, Akron 5-1. Series Record: Akron leads, 18-15.
GAME NOTES: After a loss to Toledo 11 days ago, the Akron Zips have won two games in a row and will try to make it three as they host the struggling Ball State Cardinals in Mid-American Conference play at Rhodes Arena.
Ball State finally broke up a four-game losing streak with a win over Buffalo, but got right back into the loss column with a 62-53 setback against Western Michigan Sunday. The Cardinals are 1-5 in the MAC standings entering this contest.
Akron has won two in a row and seven of its last eight games, leading to a 5-1 record in MAC play. The Zips lead the East Division of the conference after an 82-74 victory over Central Michigan on Saturday.
Akron has a slim 18-15 all-time series lead against Ball State, but has dominated the series in the last decade. The Zips have won 10 games in a row against the Cardinals, and are 10-5 in Akron.
Ball State was within five points of Western Michigan in the closing minutes of Sunday's MAC contest, but was seriously hurt by 21 turnovers in the game. The Cardinals also shot a dismal 30 percent from the floor, which was ultimately the downfall in the nine-point loss. Majok Majok recorded his seventh double-double of the season by scoring 13 points and grabbing 10 rebounds, adding two blocked shots to his stat line. Chris Bond chipped in 13 points as well, and Zavier Turner contributed 11 points with a team-high seven turnovers.
Turner and Bond are at the top of the Ball State scoring list, netting 12.4 ppg and 11.8 ppg, respectively. Bond is connecting on 45.5 percent of his shots from the floor this season, while Majok (10.9 ppg) hits on 54.7 percent. Majok is averaging a double-double with a team-best 10.2 rpg as well. Turner's 68 assists leads the team, but carries the burden of 70 turnovers this season. Jesse Berry rounds out the double-digit scorers with 10.2 ppg.
Akron's win over Central Michigan was its seventh consecutive victory against the Chippewas. The Zips have now won 20 of their last 21 games against MAC West Division teams. Quincy Diggs led all Akron scorers with 19 points on 7- of-15 shooting from the floor. Both Demetrius Treadwell and Jake Kretzer chipped in 15 points, while Reggie McAdams tallied 11 points off the bench.
Treadwell and Diggs are the top two scorers for Akron this season, and the only two players to net double-digit point totals through 19 contests. Treadwell leads the team with 13.8 ppg on 45.5 percent shooting, while Diggs contributes 12.7 ppg. Treadwell leads the team in rebounding as well at 8.4 rpg, and Diggs tops the squad with 2.7 apg. The Zips are scoring 70.3 ppg this season and allowing just 68.9 ppg to their opponents.
Ball State needs a solid all-around performance from a number of different players to take down the Zips in Akron. If Majok continues to be a presence in the paint and Turner gets hot shooting, the Cardinals have a chance. Unfortunately for them, the Zips are a stellar defensive team and have multiple players capable of solid scoring numbers.
Sports Network Predicted Outcome: Akron 75, Ball State 65
01/29 10:30:50 ET