BG men’s basketball looking for third win in a row

Sports Editor and Sports Editor

Three straight wins has been an elusive feat for the BG men’s basketball team this season.

Frankly, getting two consecutive wins has been difficult enough. The Falcons did that in their third and fourth games of the year by beating Austin Peay and Detroit.

However, the team did not put up any sort of winning streak again until this past Saturday by defeating Northern Illinois.

Riding a two-game Mid-American Conference winning streak, the Falcons will look to extend that streak to three Wednesday night as they take on Ball State in Muncie, Ind.

Not only have the Falcons won consecutive games, but they have done so in convincing fashion. In both games BG won by 25 points, defeating Western Michigan 72-48, and Northern Illinois 65-40. It’s that momentum, particularly on the defensive end, that coach Louis Orr hopes the team can ride to a third straight win.

“If you look at our statistics defensively, over the last four games, we’ve held our opponents under 40 percent field goal shooting,” Orr said. “On the offensive end, we’ve been efficient. We’ve been shooting the ball better and trying to cut down on our turnovers. Overall, we’ve just played better basketball.”

Orr noted the team’s practices of late have had an added intensity to them. Part of that reason is due to a sense of urgency from the upperclassmen, he said.

“The upperclassmen set the tone, there’s no question about it,” Orr said. “They understand now that [the practices] help make you better.”

While the Cardinals are second place in the MAC West, they’ve had less success than the Falcons in conference play.

After starting the season 8-4, Ball State has posted a 4-5 record in MAC games. Perhaps most disappointing for the Cardinals is that they started 4-1 in the league, but are in the midst of a four-game losing streak.

While Ball State boasts a middle-of-the-pack offense, it is one of the best defensive teams in the MAC. The Cardinals lead the conference in scoring defense, allowing 59.5 points per game, and have the second best field goal percentage allowed, at 39.5 percent.

The Cardinals do have several offensive playmakers, led by forward Jarrod Jones. The 6-foot-9 senior is third in the league in scoring at 16.8 points per game. Additionally, he averages 8.7 rebounds per game.

Point guard Randy Davis is one of the premier passers in the league, sitting second in the conference with 5.6 assists per game. He sports a phenomenal 3.8-to-1 turnover-to-assist ratio, by far the best in the MAC.

“What you see with them is what you get,” Orr said. “Solid defensive team, mainly a man-to-man [defensive] team. Their point guard, Randy Davis, is a guy you have to deal with; he’s tough and competitive. Jarrod Jones is a big guy, as good as any big guy in our league.”

For the Falcons, the game marks an important stretch of game to finish out the season. At 5-4, the team is sixth in the MAC, but fifth in the East Division, three games behind division-leading Akron.

Wednesday night’s game is scheduled to tip off at 7 p.m.