Ohio University (15-6) at Ball State (8-12)|
The Sports Network
DATE & TIME: Wednesday, February 6, 7 p.m. (et)
FACTS & STATS: Site: Worthen Arena (11,500) -- Muncie, Indiana. Television:.
Home Record: Ohio 12-1, BSU 5-6. Away Record: Ohio 3-5, BSU 3-6. Neutral
Record: Ohio 0-0, BSU 0-0. Conference Record: Ohio 6-1, BSU 2-6. Series
Record: Ohio leads, 40-34.
GAME NOTES: The Ohio University Bobcats will be looking to bounce back on
Wednesday when they hit the road for a Mid-American Conference bout against
the Ball State Cardinals at Worthen Arena.
The Bobcats and Cardinals will meet for the 75th time in history. The Green
and White hold a 40-34 edge in the all-time series and have won two of the
past three meetings. The teams first met during the 1934-35 season, with the
Cardinals earning a 31-30 victory in Muncie. Last season, Ohio edged Ball
State, 59-55, on Jan. 28, 2012, at the Convocation Center.
Jim Christian's Bobcats are coming off of their first MAC loss of the season
as they had their seven-game winning streak snapped with an 86-72 loss in the
league leading Akron Zips' home gym. Ohio is now 15-6 overall, but owns just a
3-5 record in true road games. The Bobcats are led by senior point guard D.J.
Cooper, who leads the team with 14.5 points per game and the conference with
8.0 assists per tilt. Cooper is the MAC's all-time assists leader and ranks
19th in Division I history with 861 career helpers. Thanks largely in part to
Cooper's efforts, Ohio is leading the nation in assists per game (18.9) and
ranks inside the top 20 in field goal percentage (0.484) as well.
Ohio had Akron on the ropes when the MAC's only two unbeatens squared off on
Saturday, as the Bobcats jumped out to an early 23-10 lead. The Zips then
caught fire and shot 56.1 percent from the floor en route to the 14-point
decision. Nick Kellogg led Ohio with 15 points and Cooper chimed in with 14
points and six assists. Despite the loss to the Zips, Ohio has been impressive
otherwise against MAC foes this season and owns a +6.6 scoring margin through
seven league games. The Bobcats have shown they are a very dangerous team from
beyond the arc by hitting a conference leading total of 177 3-pointers in 22
games. Reggie Keely is second in scoring with 11.5 ppg, and Walter Offutt is a
close third at 10.9 ppg.
The Cardinals suffered their sixth loss in seven games on Saturday, falling
70-59 to Bowling Green on the road to drop to an 8-12 overall record. Although
it lost, Ball State now returns home to Worthen Arena where it has gone 5-6 on
the year. Coach Billy Taylor's squad relies on the trio of Jauwan Scaife,
Jesse Berry, and Majok Majok for much of its offensive production. Scaife and
Berry are first (13.0) and second (12.9) on the team in scoring, respectively.
Majok is one of 14 players nationally with a double-double average, posting
12.6 points and 10.7 boards per game.
Ball State managed to cut a 13-point halftime deficit to four on two
occasions, but could not close the gap and fell to BGSU. The Cardinals were
outrebounded, 30-26, marking the first occasion they were beat on the glass by
a MAC foe this season. Ball State's slide comes from struggles on both ends of
the floor, as it ranks ninth in the MAC in both scoring offense (63.8) and
scoring defense (67.3).
Worthen Arena is going to be as lively as ever for this contest as the
underdog Cardinals try to fend off Ohio. The Bobcats have not been sensational
on the road this season, but they should be determined to get back on track
after falling to the Zips.
Sports Network Predicted Outcome: Ohio University 77, Ball State 70
02/06 10:43:21 ET