MEN'S BASKETBALL: Riding high, Ball State hosts Akron

Cardinals put four-game winning streak on line against reigning MAC champs

Riding its longest winning streak in six years, Ball State University will host the University of Akron, the defending Mid-American Conference champion, Saturday afternoon.

The Cardinals (12-9, 6-3) have won four straight and five of their last six games to reassert themselves in the MAC race. But coach Billy Taylor doesn't want his team to get ahead of itself.

"We're going in the right direction," Taylor said. "But we don't want to be satisfied with that success."

Ball State will get its next test against Akron (16-7, 6-3), which has won three of its last four games.

The Zips returned four of the five starters from their NCAA Tournament team last year, including forward Brett McKnight, who leads them with 10.1 points per game. While Akron has only one player averaging double-digit points, seven Zips score more than seven points a game.

Ball State's post players will be tested by center Zeke Marshall, who leads the conference in blocks. The freshman has 38 blocks, but is still developing offensively.

In Thursday's 64-59 defeat of Bowling Green State University, Ball State struggled rebounding the ball. The Falcons out rebounded the Cardinals, and grabbed 19 offensive boards. Taylor said that would have to be corrected before Saturday.

"We have to get that cleaned up," he said. "We'll look at the film and see what happened." 


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