What To Watch: Ball State at Bowling Green

IMG_9299By: Connor Onion | @Conion22
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In a battle of teams with identical records, Ball State (13-8, 4-4) travels to Bowling Green for a Mid-American Conference showdown at 7pm tonight.

The game can be heard on 91.3 WCRD, Ball State Sports Link Radio.

Getting Defensive
After Saturday’s 73-64 loss to Akron, Ball State Head Coach James Whitford reflected on the loss saying, “We did not defend to the level we are capable of. We have to get back to playing good ‘D’.”

The magic number for Ball State this season has been 70.

When allowing 70+ points to opponents, the Cardinals are 1-7. The exception was a double overtime win against Eastern Michigan a week and a half ago.

After starting the conference slate 3-1, Ball State has dropped three of their last four, allowing more than 70 points in each of those contests.

Falcons Dynamic Duo: Denny & Parker

Spencer Parker needs 24 points to reach the 1,000-point scoring plateau.
Spencer Parker needs 24 points to reach the 1,000-point scoring plateau.

Bowling Green (13-8, 4-4) lost three of its top four scorers and 62% of its points from a year ago, including current Philadelphia 76er and 2014-15 First-Team All-MAC selection Richaun Holmes. The loss of a prolific scoring presence like Holmes has paved a path for Zack Denny and Spencer Parker to emerge.

Denny, a Cardinal killer, had his best three scoring performances of the season last year against Ball State, dropping 17, 18 and 16 points in three games. This season, he has tallied 15 double-figure scoring games and five double-doubles. The 6-foot-2 junior leads the team in rebounding with seven boards per game and is the top rebounding guard in the conference.

Parker is a face-up power forward with skill and range from 15-17 feet away from the basket. He is the leading scorer for the Falcons at 14 points per game and has powered Bowling Green with five 20+ point scoring performances on the season. Ball State will look to stave off history tonight as Parker is 24 points away from becoming the 43rd player in Bowling Green history to score 1,000 career points.

Revenge Tour
At the start of the year, Ball State junior forward Franko House described the 2015-16 season as a “revenge tour”, noting there are a lot of teams Ball State hasn’t beaten in a long time.

Tonight, Ball State travels to Bowling Green, a place they haven’t won since 2004.

Speaking of revenge, Ball State fell to the Falcons not once, not twice, but three times last year, including a season-ending 88-75 loss in the first round of the MAC Tournament.

Author: Sports Link Staff

Sports Link showcases Cardinal student-athletes’ accomplishments on the field, in the classroom and within the surrounding community. Follow @bsusportslink on all social media platforms.

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