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The Sports Network
DATE & TIME: Tuesday, November 20, 7 p.m. (et)
FACTS & STATS: Site: Worthen Arena (11,500) -- Muncie, Indiana. Television: None. Home Record: ISU 2-0, BSU 2-0. Away Record: ISU 0-1, BSU 0-0. Neutral Record: ISU 0-0, BSU 0-0. Conference Record: ISU 0-0, BSU 0-0. Series Record: Indiana State leads, 69-57.
GAME NOTES: The Ball State Cardinals close out a season-opening three-game homestand on Tuesday, when the team plays host to rival Indiana State at Worthen Arena.
Billy Taylor's Cardinals have gotten off to a fast start, posting two victories in as many games, with wins over Grambling State (78-51) and Wofford (66-61) to begin the season.
Greg Lansing's Sycamores had the unenviable task of opening their season on the road at nationally-ranked UCLA and paid the price for it with an 86-59 rout. The team has bounced back in a hurry though, with two straight wins at home, topping Winthrop (66-55), before knocking off Truman State (70-57).
This is the 127th meeting between these two long-time rivals, as Ball State has played Indiana State more than any other opponent in school history. Indiana State won last year's meeting in Terre Haute (57-50), but Ball State has won 11 straight at home against the Sycamores, including all nine games in Worthen Arena.
Truman State was simply out-gunned by the Sycamores last time out, as Indiana State shot a sizzling 56 percent from the floor in the second half to earn the 13-point victory at home. Jake Odum led the way offensively, connecting on 5-of-6 shots from the floor and a perfect 6-of-6 from the free- throw line to net a game-high 17 points. R.J. Mahurin joined Odum in double digits, coming off the bench to chip in with 12 points.
The Sycamores aren't exactly displaying prolific scoring tendencies through three games, averaging a modest 65.0 ppg on a bland .427 shooting. Still, three players are currently averaging double figures in scoring, led by Odum's 12.7 ppg. Justin Gant is a close second at 11.3 ppg, while Mahurin has been solid off the bench with 10.3 ppg.
The Cardinals struggled to find their range against Wofford and trailed at home at halftime, 28-26. Ball State regrouped though at intermission and came out firing in the second half, shooting a solid 52.6 percent from the floor to earn the five-point win. Four Cardinals finished in double figures in the balanced attack, led by Majok Majok, who netted 17 points and grabbed seven rebounds. Jauwan Scaife poured in 14 points, while Jesse Berry and Michael Ramey finished with 12 and 11 points, respectively.
It has only been two games, but Majok has asserted himself down low, recording a double-double in the season-opener (11 pts, 12 rebs), becoming the first player to do so in his first game for Ball State since 2008. Through two games, Berry (14.5 ppg) and Majok (14.0 ppg) have provided the majority of the offense. Scaife (9.0 ppg) and Chris Bond (8.5 ppg) give the team offensive depth.
This is a heated rivalry, but Ball State just seems to have the Sycamores' number at Worthen Arena. That isn't likely to change this year.
Sports Network Predicted Outcome: Ball State 68, Indiana State 64
11/20 10:42:58 ET
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