Ball State (5-4) at Purdue (4-6)
The Sports Network
DATE & TIME: Tuesday, December 18, 7 p.m. (et)
FACTS & STATS: Site: Mackey Arena (14,846) -- West Lafayette, Indiana. Television: ESPN3.com. Home Record: Ball State 4-2, Purdue 3-2. Away Record: Ball State 1-2, Purdue 1-1. Neutral Record: Ball State 0-0, Purdue 0-3. Conference Record: Ball State 0-0, Purdue 0-0. Series Record: Purdue leads, 8-2.
GAME NOTES: The Purdue Boilermakers will try avoid becoming a victim of another Mid-American Conference program when the Ball State Cardinals visit Mackey Arena for a non-conference tilt.
The Cardinals just finished up a rare back-to-back non-conference home-and- home series with South Dakota with an 80-73 road decision over the Coyotes. The win was the third in a row for Ball State, which enters Tuesday with a 5-4 record. After winning its first two games of the season, BSU lost four in a row to Indiana State, Indiana, Cleveland State, and Butler.
Matt Painter's Boilermakers appear to be in a rebuilding mode as they dropped to 4-6 with an 81-68 loss to Notre Dame on Saturday. The loss was the second in a row and third in for games for Purdue, which was 8-2 through 10 games a season ago. The team's losses to Bucknell, Villanova, Oregon State, and Xavier were much more understandable than its 47-44 setback to Eastern Michigan on Dec. 8.
This will be the 11th encounter between these intrastate rivals. Purdue holds an 8-2 lead in the all-time series which has not been visited since 2009.
Billy Taylor's Cardinals are scoring 64.3 points per game, which is 2.1 less than they are allowing to their opponents. Ball State is coming off a decent performance as it finished its second bout with USD with a 46.2 three-point field goal percentage and 13 assists to 11 turnovers. Jesse Berry tallied 22 points, Marcus Posley had 20 points, and Majok Majok notched his sixth double- double of the season with 11 points and 13 boards. Berry is averaging a team- best 13.2 points per game for BSU, which is consistently getting a double- double from Majok (12.9 ppg, 11.1 rpg).
Purdue is well suited to square off with Majok as it is a very strong rebounding team with an average of 10 more boards per contest than its opposition, but that tenacity on the glass was not apparent in its loss to the Fighting Irish. Notre Dame held a 38-33 advantage in the rebounding battle and forced the Boilermakers into 15 turnovers. Freshman guard Rapheal Davis provided a spark off the bench with 21 points on 8-of-9 shooting in 18 minutes of action before fouling out. Junior guard Terone Johnson was held to four points and converted just 2-of-9 attempts from the field. Johnson is leading the Boilermakers with 12 ppg and freshman center A.J. Hammons is the top rebounder (5.6) and shot blocker (1.3).
Purdue's drop off was apparent in its loss to EMU, but it could be rejuvenated by the emergence of Davis, who went scoreless in three of four games before breaking out against Notre Dame. The Boilermakers may not be NCAA Tournament material, but they definitely have some talent on board.
Sports Network Predicted Outcome: Purdue 70, Ball State 60
12/18 10:32:15 ET