Ball State (7-10) at Miami-Ohio (7-10)
The Sports Network
DATE & TIME: Saturday, January 26, 3 p.m. (et)
FACTS & STATS: Site: Millett Hall (6,500) -- Oxford, Ohio. Television: WIPB- TV, WRTV6. Home Record: BSU 5-5, Miami 5-3. Away Record: BSU 2-5, Miami 2-7. Neutral Record: BSU 0-0, Miami 0-0. Conference Record: BSU 1-4, Miami 2-3. Series Record: Miami-Ohio leads, 59-36.
GAME NOTES: The Mid-American Conference season continues as the Ball State Cardinals invade Millett Hall for a bout with the Miami-Ohio RedHawks on Saturday.
This will be the 96th encounter between these schools on the hardwood. Miami holds a 59-36 all-time series lead after earning decisions in 11 of the past 12 meetings.
The Cardinals lost for the fourth time in a row on Wednesday when they fell 66-63 to Buffalo to drop to 7-10 overall and 1-4 in the MAC standings. Jauwan Scaife tallied 18 points in the loss and Majok Majok added 13 points, but foul trouble limited his playing time causing his streak of three consecutive double-doubles to end. For the year, Jesse Berry paces the squad with 12.2 ppg, followed by Scaife and Majok, who both net 12.1 per contest. Majok also leads the conference and ranks 16th nationally with 10.2 rebounds per tilt. Despite the trio's production, Ball State is scoring just 62.1 ppg to the 66.4 ppg it allows.
BSU held a narrow 33-30 edge in the rebounding battle and forced the Bulls into 20 turnovers on Wednesday, but Buffalo sank 7-of-17 from 3-point range and Majok was outplayed by UB's Javon McCrea inside. Ball State held the advantage in rebounds (33-30), points off turnovers (15-6), bench points (14-9) and steals (10-4). Although Berry is leading the Cardinals in scoring, he has failed to reach double figures in five consecutive games, going just 13-of-40 from the field during that span.
The RedHawks suffered their second consecutive loss on Wednesday as they fell, 74-62, to Ohio University to drop to a sub-.500, 2-3 MAC record. Coach John Cooper's unit held the lead for the opening six minutes of the contest, but the Bobcats stormed back with a flurry of 3-pointers to run out to a comfortable lead. Miami trailed by as many as 22 in the contest and finished just 3-of-17 from beyond the arc. Will Felder led the team with 19 points and 10 boards. No other RedHawk had grabbed a double-digit total in rebounds in a game this season previously. Freshman guard Geovonie McKnight recorded a pair of career highs against Ohio with 11 points and four steals.
Miami is averaging 4.5 points less than its opposition this season. The RedHawks are one of the most generous teams in the MAC, allowing 69.6 ppg on 47.2 percent shooting from the field. Allen Roberts is an all-conference caliber guard, leading Miami with 13.2 points per game. Felder (11.4 ppg) and freshman guard Reggie Johnson (8.9 ppg) are both capable of filling it up on occasion as well.
Both these teams are going to be desperate for a victory in this one. Ball State is going to need Berry to end his struggles or the team will continue to rack up losses. Majok should be able to bounce back against the weak interior of Miami.
Sports Network Predicted Outcome: Ball State 66, Miami-Ohio 61
01/26 10:40:12 ET