Buffalo (9-5) at Ball State (3-12)
The Sports Network
DATE & TIME: Thursday, January 23, 8 p.m. (ET)
FACTS & STATS: Site: John E. Worthen Arena (11,500) -- Muncie, Indiana. Television: Time Warner Cable SportsChannel, ESPN3.com. Home Record: Buffalo 8-1, Ball State 3-4. Away Record: Buffalo 1-3, Ball State 0-8. Neutral Record: Buffalo 0-1, Ball State 0-0. Conference Record: Buffalo 3-1, Ball State 0-4. Series Record: Ball State leads, 13-10.
GAME NOTES: The Ball State Cardinals look to stop a four-game losing streak as they host the Buffalo Bulls in Mid-American Conference action at Worthen Arena.
Buffalo is coming off a 71-60 victory over Kent State at home, giving the Bulls their third conference win of the season and tying them for the MAC East Division lead. The Bulls have won five of their last six games.
After starting the season 2-1, Ball State has gone 1-11 in its last 12 games, including 0-4 in MAC play so far. The Cardinals are coming off a 64-52 loss to Miami-Ohio at home on Saturday.
Ball State has a slim 13-10 all-time series lead against Buffalo. The two programs will meet again this season on Feb. 5 on the Buffalo campus.
Buffalo quickly erased a five-point deficit as the second half began against Kent State Saturday, as the Bulls went on to outscore Kent State 44-31 in the second frame. Will Regan scored a game-high 25 points and grabbed 10 rebounds for the double-double. Regan shot 8-of-15 from the floor, adding a perfect 6-of-6 from the free-throw line. Joshua Freelove contributed 14 points, and Javon McCrea scored 12, pulled down seven rebounds and dished out five assists in the win.
McCrea leads the team this season in scoring average with 16.6 ppg on an impressive 55.8 percent shooting from the floor. McCrea adds a team-best 9.4 rpg to his stat line, as well as 40 blocked shots and 22 steals (all team highs). Freelove is second at 12.3 ppg, and Regan checks in at third with 10.6 ppg. Jarod Oldham has dished out a team-best 73 assists in the Bulls' 14 games played.
Ball State struggled to hold onto the ball against Miami-Ohio in its last outing, turning the ball over 22 times which led to 28 Miami points off turnovers. Zavier Turner couldn't save his Cardinals from sinking, but he did his best with a team-high 24 points, which included 10-of-12 from the free- throw line. He turned the ball over six times, though. Chris Bond contributed 14 points, and Majok Majok grabbed a team-best 10 rebounds. The Cardinals shot a dismal 33.3 percent from the floor.
Turner is the leading scorer on this Ball State team this season, averaging 13.3 ppg on 40.1 percent shooting from the floor. His 55 assists is a Cardinals best this season, as is his 15 steals. However, Turner's 55 assists have been countered by 63 turnovers. Bond is second in scoring at 11.5 ppg, and Majok averages a double-double with 10.7 ppg and 10.5 rpg. Ball State gives up 72.9 ppg this season to its opponents.
All three of Ball State's wins have been on its home court, but Buffalo is a tough team with a solid starting lineup. McCrea and Majok will have a battle under the boards, but if the Bulls can cancel out Turner, then the Cardinals are in trouble.
Sports Network Predicted Outcome: Buffalo 76, Ball State 63
01/23 10:16:42 ET