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Ball State (10-14) at Southeast Missouri State (14-14)



The Sports Network

DATE & TIME: Saturday, February, 23, 6:30 p.m. (et)

FACTS & STATS: Site: Show Me Center (7,000) -- Cape Girardeau, Missouri. Television: none. Home Record: Ball State 6-8, SEMO 9-4. Away Record: Ball State 4-6, SEMO 4-8. Neutral Record: Ball State 0-0, SEMO 1-2. Conference Record: Ball State 4-8, SEMO 6-8. Series Record: First-ever meeting.

GAME NOTES: In the first-ever meeting, the Southeast Missouri Redhawks will host the Ball State Cardinals for a BracketBuster showdown at the Show Me Center.

Ball State is coming off a loss at home to Eastern Michigan, 56-50. The loss ended a brief two-game win streak and was the fourth loss in the last six games for BSU. Ball State is now 10-14 on the season, including a mere 4-8 in conference play. This is one-game road trip for the Cardinals before heading back to Muncie for some Mid-American Conference action against Central Michigan.

Southeast Missouri State most recently suffered a heartbreaking 67-65 loss to Jacksonville State. SEMO had won the three previous games heading into the matchup and is an even 14-14 overall, with a 6-8 mark in the Ohio Valley Conference. This is a brief stay at home and the last home game of the season before hitting the road for a pair of games to close out the regular season.

In the loss to Eastern Michigan, Ball State had just one player score in double figures, Jauwan Scaife. Despite shooting just 6-of-18 from the field and 2-of-13 from 3-point range, Scaife managed 21 points. Majok Majok led all players in rebounding with 16 boards. Overall, Ball State shot just 34.1 percent from the field and went 5-of-27 from long range, while Eastern Michigan shot over 55.0 percent from the floor and over 45.0 percent from 3- point range.

The Cardinals are led in scoring this season by Scaife who tallies 14.7 ppg, but shoots just 37.5 percent from the field and under 30.0 percent from beyond the arc. Majok averages a double-double with 11.3 ppg and 10.3 rpg and shoots over 51.0 percent from the field.

After fighting back from an 8-point deficit in the final minutes, SEMO tied the game with 41 seconds left with a 3-pointer from Nick Niemczyk but Jacksonville State's Brian Williams made a layup with nine seconds left to put his team back up by two. Marland Smith of SEMO attempted a potential game winning 3-pointer but it was no good. Smith scored 16 points in the game and was one of four SEMO players to score in double figures. Nino Johnson had a double-double with 12 rebounds and 11 points, while Lucas Nutt dished out a game-high nine assists.

Stone is SEMO's top scorer on the season with 15.3 ppg, while Corey Wilford adds 14.3 ppg and Johnson manages 10.8 ppg on 56.8 percent shooting from the field. Johnson leads the team in rebounding with 8.9 per game, while Stone pulls down 7.9. Offensively, the team shoots over 46.0 percent from the field and scores 72.3 ppg.

The key to beating Ball State is to send it to the charity stripe rather than allowing easy baskets. Watch for fouls that will stop the Cardinals from being able to get up shots as SEMO earns the home win.

Sports Network Predicted Outcome: SE Missouri State 70, Ball State 64

02/23 10:39:08 ET