Ball State (4-19) at Central Michigan (8-16)
The Sports Network
DATE & TIME: Wednesday, February 19, 7 p.m. (ET)
FACTS & STATS: Site: McGuirk Arena (5,300) -- Mount Pleasant, Michigan. Television: None. Home Record: Ball State 4-8, Central Michigan 6-6. Away Record: Ball State 0-11, Central Michigan 2-10. Neutral Record: Ball State 0-0, Central Michigan 0-0. Conference Record: Ball State 1-11, Central Michigan 1-11. Series Record: Ball State leads, 59-31.
GAME NOTES: The Ball State Cardinals are desperately trying to pull themselves out of a seven-game tailspin, and they'll get a shot against the Central Michigan Chippewas in Mid-American Conference action at McGuirk Arena on Wednesday.
Ball State has lost seven in a row and 11 of its last 12 games altogether, which includes a 66-64 defeat at the hands of Bowling Green Saturday. The Cardinals have struggled to a 1-11 record in the MAC this season, which is tied with Central Michigan for the bottom spot in the conference.
Central Michigan has lost three games in a row and, like Ball State, 11 of its last 12 contests. The Chippewas are coming off an 83-75 loss to Kent State Saturday night, which dropped them to 1-11 in the conference standings.
Ball State has a pretty comfortable lead in the all-time series between these two programs, 59-31. They will meet later this season on the court at Ball State on March 1.
Ball State did everything it could to hold off Bowling Green in the team's Saturday night defeat, but ended up dropping the contest by two points. Jesse Berry broke the Cardinals' career 3-point record in the loss, notching his 207th triple after connecting on six 3-point attempts in the game. Berry led Ball State with 20 points in the contest, while Franko House and Chris Bond each chipped in 13 points. Majok Majok nearly missed a double-double with nine points and 15 rebounds.
Zavier Turner, who had just five points on Saturday against the Falcons, leads the team in scoring this season with a 12.2 ppg average, hitting 37.5 percent of his shot attempts this season and an even better 42.2 percent from 3-point distance. Bond comes in right behind Turner in scoring at 12 ppg, while Majok trails him at 10.2 ppg. Majok leads the team in rebounding at 10.1 rpg with 21 blocked shots. Turner's 80 assists is a team-high, but so are his 93 turnovers.
Central Michigan used a second-half comeback run to take a lead against Kent State, erasing a double-digit Golden Flashes' lead in the process. But, despite the momentum, Central Michigan wasn't able to hold onto its lead. Chris Fowler led the Chippewas with 19 points in the contest, adding a team- high four assists and five steals. Braylon Rayson and Blake Hibbitts each netted 12 points, and John Simons chipped in with 11 points in the loss.
Fowler leads the Chippewas in scoring this season with a solid 18 ppg on 54.4 percent shooting from the field. His 119 assists is a team high on the year, along with his 45 total steals. Simons checks in at 10.9 ppg, also registering a team-high 5.8 rpg average. Central Michigan is averaging a healthy 73.7 ppg this season, but is allowing its opponents to score 73.5 ppg.
This battle between the two worst teams in the MAC will repeat on March 1 in Muncie. For now, the decent guard play on either side may cancel the other team's out, but Majok has an opportunity to be a game-changer underneath the basket.
Sports Network Predicted Outcome: Ball State 69, Central Michigan 64
02/19 10:41:00 ET