Cleveland State (4-2) at Ball State (2-2)
The Sports Network
DATE & TIME: Wednesday, November 28, 7 p.m. (et)
FACTS & STATS: Site: Worthen Arena (11,500) -- Muncie, Indiana. Television: None. Home Record: CSU 2-0, BSU 2-1. Away Record: CSU 0-2, BSU 0-1. Neutral Record: CSU 2-0, BSU 0-0. Conference Record: CSU 0-0, BSU 0-0. Series Record: Series tied, 2-2.
GAME NOTES: The Cleveland State Vikings look to bounce back as they head to Worthen Arena for non-conference action against the Ball State Cardinals on Wednesday.
The Vikings are 4-2 after their 71-62 loss to Robert Morris on Nov. 20. Their only other setback came at the hands of the nationally-ranked Michigan Wolverines in a lopsided affair. Cleveland State has notched victories over Grambling, Bowling Green, Old Dominion and Alabama-Huntsville. Coach Gary Waters's squad has yet to win a game on the road this season, but it comes in with a nine-game winning streak versus opponents from the Mid-American Conference.
Ball State comes in on a two-game losing slide after a pair of beatings from its Sycamore State rivals Indiana State (68-48) and Indiana (101-53). The Cardinals opened up the season with a pair of wins over Grambling and Wofford prior to the losing streak. All of the team's games have been at home except for their setback to the Hoosiers, which took place in Bloomington.
Ball State and Cleveland State will be meeting for the fifth time ever but the first time since the 1975-76 campaign. Both sides have picked up two wins a piece. They have one common opponent this season, as they both rolled to double-digit margin wins over Grambling.
Cleveland State is a decent team on the offensive end of the floor with a scoring average of 69.7 ppg on 44.2 percent shooting from the field. Despite losing to Michigan by 30 points, the team is still outscoring its opposition by an average of four points per contest. The Vikings came out of the gate cold their last time out and made only 36 percent of their field goal attempts in the first half versus RMU. However, they rebounded to knock down 14-of-25 from the floor including 4-of-9 from beyond the arc in the final 20 minutes. However, Waters has to get his squad to do better on the defensive end as RMU managed to shoot 48.9 percent and convert 23-of-27 at the charity stripe. Charlie Lee tied his career-high with 20 points his last time out. He leads the team in scoring with 14.7 ppg while Anton Grady (13.7 ppg) and Tim Kamczyc (11.3 ppg) are also carrying double-digit scoring averages. Lee and Kamczyc have combined to go 29-of-60 (48.3 percent) from beyond the arc, but the rest of the team is only 14-of-53 (26.4 percent).
Coach Billy Taylor will need to get his team refocused after its back-to-back poor performances. After shooting 43.4 percent from the field in its first two games, Ball State made only 31.4 percent of its field goals in its two losses. It comes in with an average margin of loss of nine points per contest and 15 more turnovers (56) than assists (41). Junior forward Majok Majok has been consistent on the offensive end with four double-digit scoring performances in as many games. The Australian native leads the team with 15.3 points and nine rebounds per game. Senior guard Jauwan Scaife is second on the squad with 11.3 ppg while Jesse Berry is adding 11 ppg. Freshman guard Marcus Polsey is not a big threat to light up the scoreboard, but is the only player on the team with a positive assist-to-turnover ratio (five-to-one) and is dishing out a team- best 3.8 apg.
Although Ball State's loss to the top-ranked Hoosiers is understandable, its 20-point loss to Indiana State is not a good sign. The Vikings should be well rested after eight days off. If Lee continues to be a scoring threat in addition to an excellent floor general, CSU should be able to extend its streak versus MAC opponents with ease.
Sports Network Predicted Outcome: Cleveland State 70, Ball State 64
11/28 10:33:14 ET