Pierce: Cardinals’ home perfection under attack

<p>Redshirt junior Brachen Hazen goes up to the rim Feb. 11, 2020, at John E. Worthen Arena. Hazen scored seven points against the Huskies. <strong>Jacob Musselman, DN</strong></p>

Redshirt junior Brachen Hazen goes up to the rim Feb. 11, 2020, at John E. Worthen Arena. Hazen scored seven points against the Huskies. Jacob Musselman, DN

Drew Pierce is a junior journalism major and is a columnist for The Daily News. His views do not necessarily reflect those of the newspaper.

The biggest highlight of Ball State Men’s Basketball’s season thus far is being 5-0 at home against Mid-American Conference foes. 

However, the Cardinals’ greatest threat to ending the winning streak will be in Muncie Saturday. Bowling Green will make the trip to Worthen Arena Saturday. 

The Falcons are 18-7 this season and 9-3 in MAC play. An impressive win over Cincinnati and a nine-point loss to No. 22 LSU in the regular season shows Bowling Green is not messing around. Bowling Green is also 4-3 on the road. 

The Falcons and Cardinals have faced off already this season, with Bowling Green coming out on top 67-61. This time, much more is on the line.

Ball State’s reputation this season is it is unstoppable at home. With home wins over Miami (Ohio), Buffalo, Toledo, Ohio and a close victory over Northern Illinois, Ball State has proved it can hold its own at Worthen. 

Being undefeated at home in conference play is a big deal. However, the Cardinals’ biggest test will come Saturday against the Falcons. As long as everyone does their job, the streak may live on. 

Redshirt senior forward Tahjai Teague has been the most consistent producer on this Ball State team. Teague went off during the first matchup against Bowling Green and dropped a double-double with 18 points and 11 rebounds. 

Teague is averaging in double figures this season and is not slowing down. He is not alone, as his efforts are being followed up by his teammates. With junior guard Ishmael El-Amin and freshman guard Luke Bumbalough finding their game even more in 2020, Bowling Green is in for a tight contest. 

Ball State’s recent victory over Northern Illinois shows how dialed in the Cardinals are, especially at home. 

There could not be a better time in the schedule to take on the Mid-American Conference East Division leader. The Falcons have lost two of the last three and are on a tough stretch on the conference slate. The team will also be without its program's second all-time leading scorer Dylan Frye, as he left the team this week due to personal reasons. 

On the other hand, the Cardinals have won two of their last three and have the momentum the Falcons lack. 

For Ball State’s perfect record to remain intact, all cylinders must be firing. Bowling Green is an opponent that will take advantage of every little imperfection that goes on. 

The Cardinals have the momentum to get the job done, but the Falcons are not going down without a fight. 

Contact Drew Pierce with any comments at dlpierce2@bsu.edu or on Twitter @dpierce3cc

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