Ball State (4-15) at Buffalo (11-7)
The Sports Network
DATE & TIME: Wednesday, February 5, 7 p.m. (ET)
FACTS & STATS: Site: Alumni Arena (6,100) -- Buffalo, New York. Television: None. Home Record: Ball State 4-5, Buffalo 9-1. Away Record: Ball State 0-10, Buffalo 2-5. Neutral Record: Ball State 0-0, Buffalo 0-1. Conference Record: Ball State 1-7, Buffalo 5-3. Series Record: Ball State leads, 14-10.
GAME NOTES: The Ball State Cardinals have lost three straight games, but will look to end that streak as they travel to face the Buffalo Bulls in Mid- American Conference action at Alumni Arena.
The Cardinals have lost three in a row and seven of their last eight altogether. Their only win that separates four straight losses and the three in a row they have currently lost is a 71-68 win over Buffalo back on Jan. 23. Ball State dropped a close 67-65 contest to Northern Illinois in overtime on Saturday.
Buffalo had a two-game win streak snapped by Bowling Green, 74-68, Sunday. The Bulls have won three of their last five games, but fell to 5-3 in the MAC standings with the loss - a game behind Ohio and Akron in the MAC East Division.
Ball State holds the all-time series lead over Buffalo, 14-10, which includes the Cardinals' victory on their home court earlier this season over the Bulls.
Ball State held a double-digit lead over Northern Illinois Saturday afternoon, and watched it slowly slip away as the Huskies battled back to force overtime, and eventually escape with the two-point win. Chris Bond led all Cardinals scorers in the game with 16 points, while Jesse Berry chipped in 13 off the bench and Zavier Turner added 11. Majok Majok nearly notched a double- double with nine points and 11 rebounds. The Cardinals shot 36 percent in the second half as their lead evaporated, and connected on 38.6 percent for the game.
Turner leads the Cardinals in scoring this season, which hasn't been one to brag about in terms of offensive success. Turner is netting a team-best 12.1 ppg on 37.9 percent shooting from the floor, while Bond and Majok are second and third, respectively, at 11.7 and 11.1 ppg. Majok, who used to average a double-double, is still leading the team in rebounding, but just under a 10- rebound average at 9.8 rpg. Berry is the final double-digit scorer on the team at 10.2 ppg. Turner tops the squad in assists with 64, but also has 76 turnovers on the year.
Buffalo held a two-point lead at halftime over Bowling Green on Sunday, but couldn't hold on in the second half as the Bulls squandered offensive opportunities by the handful. Buffalo connected on just 31.2 percent of its shots in the second frame, and went just 2-of-13 from 3-point distance. Will Regan scored 17 points to pace the Bulls, while Joshua Freelove netted 16 points. Javon McCrea notched a double-double with 14 points and 11 rebounds before he fouled out of the contest.
McCrea is still proving to be one of the top players in the MAC this season, and the best scorer and rebounder the Bulls have on their roster. McCrea leads the team with 17.5 ppg and 9.4 rpg, adding a 57.4 percent shooting clip to his stat line. Freelove is second on the squad with 12.8 ppg, and Regan rounds out the double-digit scorers with 10.9 ppg. Jarod Oldham leads the team with 96 assists and a 7.4 ppg average.
Ball State was able to handle Buffalo last time out, but that was on its home court. It's the only MAC game the Cardinals have won, and a trip to Buffalo should be much more difficult, where the Bulls are 9-1 on the season.
Sports Network Predicted Outcome: Buffalo 78, Ball State 67
02/05 10:30:43 ET