PREVIEW: Ball State men's basketball vs. Northern Illinois
Ball State men’s basketball (14-10, 6-6 MAC) prepares to take on Northern Illinois (14-11, 6-6 MAC) for a Valentine's Day matchup on Tuesday.
The Cardinals will look to score on the number one scoring defense in the Mid-American Conference, the Huskies, who allow only 68.5 points per game. While not allowing many points, the Huskies only average 71.8 points per game themselves.
The Cardinals rank fourth in the MAC in scoring offense averaging 78.7 points per game. But in their three-game losing streak, the Cardinals have only put up 68.6 points per game.
Where: Dekalb, Illinois
When: 8 p.m.
How to watch: ASN/CSN Chicago Plus, ESPN 3
How to listen: WLBC
Ball State's leading scorer, redshirt sophomore Tayler Persons, is averaging 15.4 points per game this season. But in last Tuesday's loss to Akron, the point guard went 1-6 from the field finishing with only three points.
The Cardinals will need to stop the Huskie leading scorer, senior center Marin Maric who is averaging 13.4 points per game and hitting 52 percent of his shots from the field.
Last season Ball State and NIU split the season series with the Cardinals winning the first matchup 63-59 and the Huskies taking the second 80-69. In the Cardinals loss, the Huskies put up 23 bench points as opposed to Ball State’s three.
With regular season conference play, both teams are in contention to being top in the MAC West division. Both teams are 6-6 in the conference but Ball State has a better overall record. Ball State places second in the standings and NIU in third. The teams will meet again on March 3 in Muncie, Indiana.
Tipoff on Feb. 14 is scheduled for 8 p.m. in Dekalb, Illinois.