Central Michigan (9-19, 4-10 Mid-American)
Ball State (13-14, 4-10 Mid-American)
Wednesday, February 29 | 7 p.m. | Muncie, Ind. | Worthen Arena (11,500)
Radio: WCFX-FM 95.3 & WUPS-FM 98.5 — Don Chiodo and Don Helinski
Live Audio: CMU Sports Zone (free) — cmuchippewas.com
Live Video Webcast: Ball State All Access (subscription) — bsucardinals.com
CMU hits the road for the final time during the regular season on Wednesday when the Chippewas travel to Ball State to face the Cardinals. Tipoff in Worthen Arena is set for 7 p.m.
The teams enter the contest with identical 4-10 league records. Ball State has lost nine consecutive MAC games while the Chippewas are coming off a 10-point win over Northern Illinois on Sunday.
BSU is led by Jarrod Jones who ranks in the top five in the league in both scoring and rebounding.
Following Wednesday's game the Chippewas wrap up the regular season on Friday night at home against rival Western Michigan.
||Was the lone Chippewa in double figures in the first meeting with Ball State with 16 points
||Led the Chippewas with 19 points against NIU on Sunday
|| Trey Zeigler
||Needs 45 points for 1,000th of career
||Made third career start against NIU and pulled down six rebounds
|| Andre Coimbra
||Posted ninth double-figure game of the season with 10 points against NIU
NEWS AND NOTES
Ball State leads the all-time series, 56-30. The Cardinals have won four straight overall. Ball State won the earlier meeting this season, 73-52, for CMU’s worst home loss of the season (21 points).
• Head coach Ernie Zeigler is 4-8 all-time against the Cardinals, with a 1-4 record in road games. The lone win was a two-point victory in Zeigler’s first season, 2007.
• The Chippewas have managed just two wins (2-17) in Worthen Arena since the facility opened its doors in 1992. The 2003 MAC championship squad won there as Chris Kaman notched 39 points and an arena record-tying 22 rebounds in just 24 minutes while battling the flu. The other win was a 61-59 victory in 2007, Ernie Zeigler’s first season at CMU.
Central Michigan held MAC Player of the Year Candidate Jarrod Jones to just four points but the rest of the Ball State Cardinals stepped up in a 73-52 road win at Mount Pleasant on Wednesday. Tyrae Robinson scored BSU’s first eight points and he finished with a career-high 20. CMU was led by freshman Austin McBroom who tied a then career high with 16 points, including three 3-pointers. The Cardinals shot 54 percent from the floor compared to CMU’s 34 percent.
Northern Illinois Recap
Derek Jackson’s 19 points led a balanced offensive attack while CMU’s defense held off Northern Illinois in a 74-64 home win on Sunday afternoon. Jackson hit a trio of 3-pointers during a 20-3 run when the Chippewas pulled ahead for a 16-point lead with 6:09 left in the first half and the defense did the rest maintaining a double-digit lead for much of the remainder of the game. The Chippewas held the Huskies to .364 shooting from the floor after NIU shot .550 against CMU in the first meeting while draining 12 3-pointers. Trey Zeigler and Austin McBroom each added 14 points and Andre Coimbra chipped in with 10. Abdel Nader had a game-high 24 points to lead NIU.
MAC Tournament Begins Next Week
If the MAC Tournament started today, the seeding would be — 1. Akron, 2. Ohio, 3. Buffalo, 4. Kent State, 5. Eastern Michigan, 6. Bowling Green, 7. Toledo, 8. Western Michigan, 9. Miami, 10. Ball State, 11. Central Michigan, 12. Northern Illinois.
CMU has outrebounded three of its last four opponents despite the fact that the Chippewas rank 12th in the league in rebounding margin (-4.0).
The Chippewas’ top three scorers are two sophomores and a freshman. CMU is the only MAC school with three underclassmen among the top 30 scorers in the league.
CMU has scored 70 or more points twice in MAC play this season and both times were Chippewa victories. Central had a season-high 85 points in the home win over Toledo and 74 points in Sunday’s home victory over Northern Illinois. The Chippewas hit the mark four times in non-conference play and were 2-2 in those contests.
Trey Zeigler’s 33 points at Toledo last Wednesday were the most by a Chippewa since Giordan Watson scored 34 in an overtime game against Buffalo on Feb. 2, 2008. The last time a CMU player had more points in regulation was when Watson had 34 against Buffalo in the MAC Tournament in Cleveland on March 7, 2007.
• Zeigler’s 33 points were a MAC single-game high for conference play this year. Bowling Green’s A’uston Calhoun and Toledo’s Rian Pearson shared the previous MAC high while Toledo’s Julius Brown also had 29 for the Rockets on Wednesday against CMU. Calhoun had 29 versus Buffalo while Pearson hit the mark at Akron.
Freshman of the Year Candidate
Freshman point guard Austin McBroom is making a bid for MAC Freshman of the Year honors. In MAC play only, the North Hollywood, Calif., native ranks second among freshmen in scoring (11.3) and among all league players in conference action, McBroom ranks second in the league in free throw percentage (.857), ranks ninth in 3-pointers made (2.0) and tied for 10th in 3-point percentage (.400). His overall scoring average of 10.6 points per game ranks third among league freshmen.
A Win with Limited FT Attempts
The Chippewas defeated Eastern Michigan on Feb. 14 despite the fact that they made just three free throws in the game. It’s pretty rare for CMU to win when making less than 10 freebies. Since 2000, the Chippewas are 13-72 (.153) when making nine or fewer free throws.
Sophomore Trey Zeigler is closing in on 1,000 career points. He enters the Ball State game with 955 points and is averaging 16.1 points per game. If he maintains his average for the rest of the year, Zeigler would reach 1,000 points in CMU’s first-round MAC Tournament game.
• Zeigler is looking to become the 28th member of CMU’s 1,000-point club and the first since Jordan Bitzer and Robbie Harman both joined during the 2010 season.
• Zeigler is looking to become the first Chippewa to ever hit the 1,000-point plateau as a sophomore. Ben Kelso scored exactly 1,000 points in his first two seasons, but they were as a sophomore and a junior as he played in an era when freshmen were not eligible. Dan Majerle scored 801 points his freshman and sophomore seasons but he only played in 12 games his freshman year because of injury. He was averaging 18.6 points as a freshman and missed 15 games that year. Junior college transfer Ervin Leavy scored 1,003 points in his first two seasons as a Chippewa, but it was his junior and senior years.
Freshman Double-Figure Scorer
Freshman point guard Austin McBroom is averaging in double figures with 10.6 points per game. He is looking to become just the fourth CMU freshman to average in double figures in the last 15 years. The three to accomplish the feat in that span are Trey Zeigler (16.3 ppg) last year, Giordan Watson (10.3) in 2005 and Mike Manciel (17.5) in 1999.
Freshman Austin McBroom has drained 49 3-pointers this season and he is on track to turn in one of the top 3-point performances by a freshman in CMU history. Ryan Jansen holds the freshman record with 69 treys in 1995 while Sander Scott hit 56 in 1990 en route to MAC All-Freshman Team honors.
In just his second season at CMU, senior JUCO transfer Andre Coimbra has recorded 63 career blocks. He needs 11 more to join CMU’s career top 10 list and tie Dennis Kann’s (1989-92) career total of 74.
Stealing a Record?
Sophomore Derek Jackson has 49 steals on the year while averaging 1.8 per game. He needs two steals to tie for eighth on CMU’s single season chart. The CMU single season record is 63 set by Dave Grauzer in 1979.
Trey Zeigler recorded the sixth double-double of his career with 17 points and 10 rebounds at Bowling Green. It marked just his second double-double against a MAC opponent. He also had one against Eastern Michigan this year. Andre Coimbra is the only other active Chippewa with a double-double in his career. Coimbra notched his lone double dip last season at Eastern Michigan.
.400 is the Magic Mark
The Chippewas held the opposition below .400 shooting from the floor in each of the first six games this season but then 21 straight opponents have all shot .400 or better. CMU held NIU to a .364 mark on Sunday snapping the skid.
• CMU is 31-11 (.738) under Ernie Zeigler when holding the opponent under 40 percent.
The Chippewas have now dropped six straight overtime games and stand 3-8 in extra sessions under head coach Ernie Zeigler. The Chippewas are 2-1 in multiple-overtime games under the current Chippewa mentor.
• Two Chippewas were high school teammates of National Player of the Year honorees. Austin McBroom played his freshman season at Campbell Hall High School with 2008 Gatorade Player of the Year Jrue Holiday (UCLA/Philadelphia 76ers). Austin Keel played his senior season at Winter Park High School with 2011 Naismith Prep Player of the Year Austin Rivers (Duke).
• CMU signed 6-8, 210-pound forward John Simons (Cadillac, Mich./Cadillac HS) to a National Letter of Intent during the early signing period. As a junior at Cadillac High School, Simons averaged 23 points and eight rebounds while leading the Vikings to a 20-5 record and a Class B regional championship. He was named second team all-state by the Detroit Free Press.
New MAC Tournament Format
The Mid-American Conference Tournament had some drastic changes made to the format for this season. Most notably is the fact that the No. 1 and No. 2 seeds receive byes to the semifinals while the No. 3 and No. 4 seeds receive byes to the quarterfinals. Also, seeding will be based on conference winning percentage, regardless of division. So this year, the top two seeds could come from the same division. Seeds No. 5 through No. 12 will play first round games on campus sites with those four winners advancing to the second round in Cleveland’s Quicken Loans Arena.