PREVIEW: Ball State men's basketball vs. Bowling Green State
Ball State men's basketball (12-6, 3-2 MAC) hits the road this weekend to take on Bowling Green State University (7-11, 1-4 MAC) as the second half of a doubleheader with the two schools' women's basketball teams Jan. 21.
The Cardinals lost their last matchup with the Falcons 76-71 Jan. 7, but have won three consecutive Mid-American Conference games since then, with an average score of 91.7-78.0. The Cardinals have also won the rebounding battle in the three wins with an average plus-3.7 margin.
“I think we have the right mindset as a team,” Whitford said. “That doesn’t guarantee you will win everything, but it gives you the best chance.”
Ball State stats:
Points per game: 79.6
Points allowed per game: 72.5
Field-goal percentage: 47.1
Leading scorer: Tayler Persons - 15.4 ppg
Bowling Green stats:
Points per game: 72.0
Points allowed per game: 73.6
Field-goal percentage: 42.3
Leading scorer: Zack Denny - 12.3 ppg
Sophomore guard Tayler Persons leads the Cardinals with 15.4 points and 5.1 assists per game. He said the key will be for the Cardinals to stay true to themselves.
“We just want to go give it our all every game,” Persons said. “Our identity is to be the hardest playing team, and if the other team still wins, credit to them.”
Though Ball State's offense has been hot lately, Whitford said he expects a slower game this time.
“I don’t think we will be able to do that [score 90] in this game,” Whitford said. “Bowling Green is more controlled and doesn’t play a fast pace.”
As a result, the Cardinals will have to hold onto the ball.
“We are going to have to be able to score in the half court,” Whitford said. “In that sense, this game will be a real test for us.”
Tipoff is slated for 2:30 p.m. at Bowling Green, after the conclusion of the women's game.