Central Michigan (9-17) at Ball State (11-14)
The Sports Network
DATE & TIME: Wednesday, February 27, 7 p.m. (et)
FACTS & STATS: Site: Worthen Arena (11,500) -- Muncie, Indiana. Television:
None. Home Record: CMU 5-6, BSU 6-8. Away Record: CMU 1-10, BSU 5-6. Neutral
Record: CMU 3-1, BSU 0-0. Conference Record: CMU 2-10, BSU 4-8. Series Record:
Ball State leads, 58-31.
GAME NOTES: The Central Michigan Chippewas take their last stab at a season-
series sweep as they visit Worthen Arena for a Mid-American Conference tilt
against the Ball State Cardinals.
Central Michigan coasted to a 71-57 victory over Ball State on Jan. 19 in the
season series opener in Mount Pleasant. The Cardinals now own a 58-31 all-time
series edge despite the loss. Kyle Randall tallied 16 points while Olivier
Mbaigoto and Blake Hibbitts added 12 points each for CMU in the bout. Majok
Majok registered a double-double of 14 points and 11 boards for the Cardinals,
who also received 13 points from Jauwan Scaife.
Keno Davis' first season at the helm of the Chippewas' program began with
promise, but it began to go south in late January when it suffered a 74-61
setback to Northern Illinois one game after the win over BSU. The loss to the
Huskies began an eight-game slide that was extended this Saturday when CMU was
defeated, 86-75, at Youngstown State in the BracketBuster event. The Chippewas
have been unable to pick up too many wins this season despite the solid play
of Randall. The UNC Greensboro transfer averaged just 5.7 ppg as a Spartan in
2011-12 before transferring to the Mid-American Conference to net 17.8 ppg.
Unfortunately the 5-foot-10 guard has not had much help as Hibbitts is a
distant second in the scoring column with 8.4 ppg.
Randall went 6-of-16 from the floor to net 17 points on Saturday against the
Penguins. Chris Fowler led the Chippewas with 19 points and John Simons added
16 on 4-of-5 efficiency from the field. As a team, CMU shot 42.6 percent from
the floor, but it let YSU connect on 60 percent of its field-goal tries
including 9-of-18 from beyond the arc. The Chippewas did manage to convert 21-
of-27 at the charity stripe to give them a 41-of-52 clip at the free-throw
line over their past two games. CMU is a middle of the road team offensively
in its conference with an average of 66.6 ppg, but it has the worst scoring
defense in the 12-team league with an allowed average of 72.2 ppg.
Ball State edged SE Missouri State 85-82 on the road on Saturday in its
BracketBuster game to notch its third win in four games. The recent hot streak
has moved the Cardinals to an 11-14 overall record and made them 4-8 in league
action. The team has seen significant offensive production from Scaife and
Jesse Berry, who are netting 14.8 and 12.1 points per game, respectively. Ball
State has been mediocre on both ends of the floor this season to place 10th in
the MAC in scoring offense (62.9) and just two slots higher in scoring defense
The Cardinals struggled from the field in their matchup with SEMO, as they
finished with only 40.9 percent efficiency on field-goal tries including an 8-
of-22 clip from beyond the arc. Ball State took advantage of the Redhawks' 14
turnovers by converting them into 22 points and also claimed a 46-36 edge in
the rebounding battle. Scaife recorded a team-high 18 points while Marcus
Posley chipped in 15 points. Majok, who owns a double-double average with 11.6
points and 10.0 boards per tilt, contributed only four points and five
rebounds, but Matt Kamieniecki (12 points, 14 rebounds) and Chris Bond (11
points, 11 rebounds) picked up the slack on the interior to keep SEMO at bay.
Ball State has been playing much better than CMU recently and it knows that
Randall is the key to the Chippewas' engine after the first matchup. The
Cardinals will need a strong showing out of the backcourt on the defensive end
as its frontcourt should be able to contain the Cardinals' forwards enough to
pick up the decision.
Sports Network Predicted Outcome: Ball State 71, Central Michigan 68
02/27 10:33:43 ET
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