Ball State Men’s Hoops Hosts Northern Illinois Saturday
FREE PRESS REPORT
MUNCIE, INDIANA (NEWS) - The Ball State men’s basketball team hosts Northern Illinois for a 2 p.m. tipoff Saturday at Worthen Arena as Mid-American Conference action continues.
The Cardinals (4-14, 1-6 MAC) return home after Wednesday’s loss at defending league champion Akron. Northern Illinois (8-11, 2-5 MAC) is coming off a 50-49 road win at Kent State.
Ball State will be honoring the 50-year anniversary of its 1963-64 team at the game.
- Ball State vs. Northern Illinois
- Saturday, Feb. 1 at 2 p.m. ET -- Worthen Arena (Muncie, Ind.)
- Radio (Flagship): Ball State Radio Network (104.1 FM WLBC); Joel Godett (play-by-play); David Eha (analyst)
- Radio (Student): Sports Link Radio (91.3 FM WCRD); Luke Martin (play-by-play), Sean Stewart (analyst) & Petar Hood (sidelines)
- Internet: Live video and audio available through the Ball State All Access package at ballstatesports.com; Live stats also available.
What You Need to Know
Ball State will host Northern Illinois for the first of two meetings this season between the MAC West Division foes. The Cardinals will travel to DeKalb, Ill., for the final game of the regular season.
Ball State is coming off a 73-46 loss Wednesday at MAC East Division leader Akron. The Cardinals have been balanced offensively with four players averaging double figures: freshman Zavier Turner (12.2 ppg) and seniors Chris Bond (11.5), Majok Majok (11.2) and Jesse Berry (10.0).
Majok, the Ball State center, owns seven double-doubles on the season and has spent much of the year averaging a double-double. He is currently averaging 11.2 points and 9.8 rebounds per game.
A preseason All-MAC West Division selection, Majok leads the MAC and ranks 21st in the nation in rebounding. For the season, freshmen have accounted for better than 40 percent of the Cardinals’ minutes and scoring.
For the past eight games, Ball State has started three freshmen: Turner, Mark Alstork and Franko House. Ball State’s strength of schedule, which has been rated as high as No. 16 in the country this season, currently checks in at No. 46 according to Ken Pomeroy.
Ball State is playing its 93rd season of basketball and its first under head coach James Whitford.
Honoring 1963-64 Team
Ball State is honoring the 50th anniversary of the 1963-64 men’s basketball team at Saturday’s game.The team will be recognized at a timeout during the game.
The Cardinals, coached by Jim Hinga, posted a 17-8 record in 1963-64 and advanced to the second round of the college division postseason. Twelve members of the team are expected back, including Ed Butler, who led the squad with 21.8 points and 17.7 rebounds per game.
Butler is still Ball State’s career rebounding leader with 1,231 in just three seasons (17.3 per game).
Scouting Northern Illinois
Northern Illinois (8-11, 2-5 MAC) snapped a four-game losing streak and picked up its second conference win with a 50-49 victory Wednesday at Kent State. The Huskies will play the rest of the year without top scorer Dontel Highsmith, who averaged 10.5 points per game through 11 contests before suffering a torn ACL.
Darrell Bowie leads the remaining Huskies with 9.6 points and 6.8 rebounds per game. Travon Baker paces Northern Illinois in league play at 11.6 points per game through seven MAC contests.
The Huskies are shooting 38.1 percent from the floor and 26.6 percent from 3-point range, but they own the second-best average rebounding margin in the conference at +4.9.