Ball State Men’s Hoops Rides Hot Streak into Game with Western Michigan

Free Press Report

MUNCIE, IN -  The Ball State men’s basketball team visits rival Western Michigan for a 7 p.m. tipoff Tuesday at University Arena in Kalamazoo, Michigan.

The Cardinals have already secured at least a first-round home game in the Mid-American Conference Tournament and are still in the mix for a bye straight to Cleveland.

Ball State (13-14, 6-8 MAC) is coming off its third straight win, an 86-72 victory over Toledo, and is looking to sweep the season series with West Division-leading Western Michigan. The Broncos are coming off an overtime loss Saturday at Eastern Michigan.

The Matchup    

 Ball State trails the all-time series with Western Michigan by a single game at 59-58. The teams met last month in Muncie with Ball State winning 65-62 on Feb. 9 behind a 30-point effort from Jauwan Scaife.

 The Cardinals and Broncos have split the past 10 meetings evenly with each team winning all five on its home court.  The last road team to win in the series was WMU in March 2008. Ball State’s last road win over WMU came by a 66-65 score Jan. 22, 2005. The Cardinals are 18-38 vs. the Broncos in Kalamazoo.

A Quick Look at the Cardinals    

The Cardinals are 13-14 overall and sit in fourth place in the MAC West at 6-8 in league play. Ball State posted its third straight win and its fifth in the past six games with Saturday’s 86-72 victory over Toledo.

 Senior guard Jauwan Scaife, the MAC West Player of the Week, scored 28 points in the win over Toledo just three days after going for a career-high 34 against Central Michigan.

Junior guard Jesse Berry finished with 22 points against the Rockets on 6-of-9 shooting, while Chris Bond scored 16 on 7-of-9 from the floor. Scaife is averaging 25.7 points per game over the past six contests, and his 20.0-point scoring average in MAC play ranks second in the league. He also leads Ball State for the season at 16.0 points per game, followed by junior guard Jesse Berry at 12.7 per game and junior forward Majok Majok at 10.8.

Berry and Scaife combined for 10 3-pointers, and BSU shot 54.7 percent for the game. Majok, who leads the MAC and ranks tied for 17th nationally in rebounding at 9.9 boards per game, has spent much of the season averaging a double-double.

Scouting Western Michigan      

Western Michigan had a three-game winning streak snapped Saturday with a 50-49 overtime loss at Eastern Michigan.  The Broncos (18-10, 9-5 MAC) continue to lead the MAC West Division and have won 10 of their past 13 games.

WMU features a balanced scoring attack with four players averaging between 10.7 and 12.3 points per game -- Shayne Whittington (12.3), Darius Paul (10.8), Nate Hutcheson (10.7) and David Brown (10.7). The Broncos rank second in the MAC in scoring defense at 62.5 points per game and are allowing only 60.2 points on average in conference play.

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