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