Cards look to post up against Wright State

If Ball State was to head into Saturday's game against Wright State looking solely at the numbers, the Cardinals might also have a look of worry on their face.

Wright State comes to Worthen Arena to face Ball State at 1 p.m. Saturday. The Raiders bring a record of 4-0 and two players who are averaging 20-plus points per game. At the same time, Wright State averages 73 points per game.

How does Ball State match up in those same areas?

The Cards have a record of 3-2 and have one player averaging more than 20 points, in Chris Williams. The next closest is Cameron Echols who averages 13 points per game. As a team, Ball State averages five less points per game than Wright State.

For Ball State however, there will be a little more on the court than just a number match up Saturday.

After a convincing win over IUPUI on Tuesday, 85-69, Ball State heads into Saturday's game with a bit of confidence on its side.

"College basketball is all about confidence and being in rhythm," junior Robert Owens said. "It's 90 percent mental and only about 10 percent physical. We just have to be smart with our decisions."

Some of those decisions Ball State will be faced with are how to best defend Wright State's senior Vernard Hollins and junior Seth Doliboa, averaging 22 and 20 points respectively.

"Defensively they are a team that can be difficult because of the match ups," Ball State coach Tim Buckley said. "It's going to be a tough game for us, but it's a good one for us to play.

"They have two very high-level players in Doliboa and Hollins," Buckley said.

One weapon Ball State will again try to utilize in counterbalancing Wright State is freshman Kevin Cates. Cates was a surprising presence under the basket against IUPUI with 13 rebounds, the most a freshman has totaled since Theron Smith pulled down 15 as a freshman four years ago.

Ball State averages 37 rebounds per game while Wright State averages a little over 30 per game.

Buckley explained that his squad may have a slight advantage inside as Wright State has a lack of height under the basket. With that in mind, Buckley said it will be important to get the ball to the post.

"We will need recognition and knowing when to get the ball inside but at the same time knowing when to get it reversed and get it out of there," Buckley said.

He further explained that continued improvement in the area of ball movement will be essential to getting open looks on the perimeter, much like the Cardinals had against IUPUI.

"If we play the ball on one side of the floor against a good defensive team then it will make it tough to get good shots," Buckley said.

The third year coach said the key against Wright State may be the speed of the game.

"We have to try to play the way we are capable of playing - try to push the pace a little bit and make them go into their bench," Buckley said.

Wright State has already defeated two Mid-American Conference schools this season: Akron and Miami (Ohio). The Raiders defeated both of those MAC schools by three points.


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