Andrew Walker

Three weeks ago, Ball State University was in the dumps.

The Cardinals capped a lowly three-game losing streak with a 53-38 loss at Central Michigan University as players hung their heads in shame and disgust as they exited the Rose Arena court.

A mere six games later, Ball State is now arguably the hottest team in the Mid-American Conference. The Cardinals have won three in a row and five of their last six.

Ball State plays host to reigning MAC East Division co-champion Bowling Green State University tonight at Worthen Arena.

Coach Billy Taylor credits the recent success to a belief in the team-first approach.

"I think that guys typically will believe in themselves in order to be successful," he said. "But I think there is a greater belief that the team can get it done."

If nothing else, Ball State (11-9, 5-3 MAC) has been the biggest pain for the MAC East teams.

Heading into tonight's game against the Falcons (11-9, 4-4 MAC), the Cardinals are 3-0 against the MAC East, while the rest of the West Division has stumbled to a 3-11 combined record against its cross-divisional rivals.

If Ball State is going to extend its winning streak to four games tonight, it's going to have to focus on blocking out on the defensive boards.

Senior center Otis Polk leads the Falcons and is fifth in the conference in rebounding at 7.2 rebounds per game, but has dominated on the offensive glass, averaging 3.25 offensive rebounds per game, second in the MAC.

Taylor hopes nothing changes in his team's attitude from the last six games. He said multiple players have stepped up with big games.

"The thing I can tell is that they really believe in each other and they believe in the team that we have a chance to win every ball game," Taylor said. "That's all you want. You just want a chance to win, be competitive and give yourself a chance to win each and every time you step on the floor."

In action
Who: Ball State men's basketball vs. Bowling Green
When: 7 p.m.
Where: Worthen Arena
Where to listen: FM 91.3 WCRD, FM 104.1 WLBC