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Season going down to wire

Sitting in a three-way tie for first place in the Mid-American Conference West Division, the men’s basketball team continues to battle in what has been a close race all season.

With the pressure in games mounting, the Falcons welcome a team that has had their number of late.

Ball State, who beat BG 86-62 in Worthen Arena on January 18, comes to Anderson Arena tonight trailing the Falcons by a game in the West. The Cardinals also swept the series last year, including an 81-71 victory in Anderson.

Looking to avenge their loss in the last meeting between these two, BG coach Dan Dakich will not let his players forgot what happened.

“If they don’t (remember), they have been reminded,” Dakich said. “At the end of the day, (the players) have got to take it a little personal and just play your guy and play our rules.”

The Cardinals will see a new look from the last time they played BG with the addition of Scott Vandermeer to the Falcons starting lineup.

The 6’11” freshman center has added a new dimension to the team, mostly on defense with his innate ability to block shots and prevent easy baskets under the hoop.

Vandermeer has started the last three games and has given Dakich a solid starting lineup since Germain Fitch went down for the remainder of the season after tearing the ACL in his left knee.

Vandermeer has averaged 4.7 points, 6.0 rebounds and 3.7 blocks in those starts.

“Scott’s been great. Scott should have played a lot more during the course of the season, but with the way the team was set up, we were a smaller team with Germain in there. Scott still should have played more and he’s shown that he deserves what he’s getting,” Dakich said.

Ball State is a team that feeds off four solid players. Peyton Stovall leads the team in scoring with 16.8 points per game, which is sixth in the MAC, and Dennis Trammell is right behind Stovall at 16.4 ppg, seventh in the MAC. Trammell torched the Falcons earlier in the year for a game-high 22 points and tied for a team-high seven rebounds.

Terrence Chapman pours in 14 points a night, but is most valuable on the boards. He ranks first in the MAC in offensive rebounds per game at 3.75 and is second in rebounding overall at 9.4.

The game is scheduled to tip-off at 7 p.m.

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