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March 4, 2013

Game Preview & Predictions: Ball State

Game Information

Ball State (13-14, 6-8) at Western Michigan Broncos (18-10, 9-5)
Location: Kalamazoo, MI
Tuesday, March 5 at 7:00 p.m.
All-time series record: Tied 58-58

Broadcast Information
Radio: Bronco Radio Network
Announcer: Robin Hook
Stations: WKZO - 96.5 FM: (Flagship) Kalamazoo, Portage, Mattawan; WMAX - 96.1 FM: Grand Rapids, Holland, Muskegon; WVIC - 94.1 FM: Lansing, Jackson, Battle Creek
Pre-game: Begins at 6:30 p.m.

Billy Taylor's record at Ball State: 82-96 (6th season)
Steve Hawkins' record at Western Michigan: 177-142 (10th season)

Additional Information

- The Broncos can clinch their 7th overall MAC West title with a win, as well as their sixth under Steve Hawkins.

- Shayne Whittington posted his ninth double-double of the season against Eastern Michigan (11 pts, 11 rbds).

- Darius Paul leads all MAC freshmen in scoring (10.9 ppg) and rebounding (6.1 rpg).

- David Brown's 10.7 ppg ranks as the most among all bench players in MAC games this season.

- Nate Hutcheson has 1,037 points, tying him with Shawnte's Gary for 30th on the career list. This will mark the 128th game played in Nate Hutcheson's career, tying him with Joe Reitz for second on the career list.

Staff Predictions

Brian Persky: Last time these two teams met, Jauwan Scaife went off for a season high 30 points. Since then, Scaife has been an unstoppable force averaging 25.7 points in his last six games.

I think if the Broncos want any chance at avenging February's loss in Muncie, Hawkins will need to put Nate Hutcheson in to defend Scaife. From there, the Bronco bench will be key. In my eyes, this is a must-win game in order to alleviate some pressure on the CMU game Saturday. I think they'll treat it as such and get the job done, but it's closer than WMU fans would prefer.

Score Prediction: Western Michigan 64, Ball State 59

David James: Ball State is coming off of an impressive stretch with four wins in their last five including a 14 point road win over Toledo on Saturday.

It's tempting to take BSU with the Broncos not playing their best basketball of late, but I imagine WMU will come out motivated with major West Division and seeding implications riding on tonight's game.

Score Prediction: Western Michigan 71, Ball State 63

D.J. Duckett: The Broncos have certainly enjoyed the home cooking this season as they have been much better at University Arena. At this point in the season, the MAC Tournament seeds are nearly wrapped up, but teams will be looking to carry momentum with them. While WMU has tailed off as of late, I see them getting the W at home.

Score Prediction: Western Michigan 76, Ball State 70

Brandon Fitzsimons: When these two teams last met, WMU's lengthy win streak was snapped. WMU played a poor game and Ball State played out of their minds. I doubt it happens again on the Broncos home floor.

Score Prediction: Western Michigan 69, Ball State 55

Additional Links

WMU Athletics: Broncos Open Final Week At Home With Ball State

WMU Athletics: Official Game Notes

Ball State Athletics: MBB Rides Hot Streak into Tuesday Game at WMU


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