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Ball State visits NIU men's hoops Saturday

Ball State (5-23, 2-15 MAC) at Northern Illinois (13-16, 7-10)

WHEN: 3:30 p.m., NIU Convocation Center

RADIO: AM-1360 WLBK, FM 98.9

LAST MEETING: NIU defeated Ball State, 67-65 in overtime on Feb. 1

SCOUTING THE CARDINALS: It's been a rough first season for Ball State head coach James Whitford, as the Cardinals have lost 11 of their last 12 games heading into Saturday's regular-season finale.

Ball State did beat Central Michigan on March 1, and took Western Michigan to overtime on Feb. 25.

Four Cardinals score in double figures – senior forward Chris Bond (12.6 points per game), freshman guard Zavier Turner (12.3), senior guard Jesse Berry (11.5) and senior center Majok Majok (11.5).

Ball State gives up 73.9 points per game, which ranks last in the MAC.

OUTLOOK: On the surface, this looks like a game the Huskies should win, but Ball State took NIU to overtime in Muncie, Ind. earlier this season before the Huskies prevailed 67-65.

In Tuesday's loss at MAC West leader Western Michigan, Aaron Armstead led NIU with 15 points while Jordan Threloff had his second double-double of the season, putting up 13 points and 13 rebounds.

NIU's 13 wins are the most since 2005-06, when the Huskies went 17-11, and the Huskies can clinch a home game in the first round of the MAC Tournament with a victory.

– Steve Nitz,

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