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Ball State, E. Michigan meet in MAC tourney

Posted: 11:06 AM, Mar 10, 2019
Updated: 2019-03-10 15:06:35Z
James Thompson IV leads Eastern Michigan over Northern Illinois

YPSILANTI, Mich. — No. 11 seed Ball State (15-16, 6-12) vs. No. 6 seed Eastern Michigan (15-16, 9-9)

Mid-American Conference Tourney First Round, Convocation Center, Ypsilanti, Michigan; Monday, 6 p.m. EDT

BOTTOM LINE: Ball State is set to take on Eastern Michigan in the opening round of the MAC tournament. Eastern Michigan swept the two-game regular season series. The teams last played each other on March 5, when the Eagles shot 49 percent from the field while limiting Ball State to just 38.5 percent en route to a 68-61 victory.

PLENTY OF EXPERIENCE: Senior leadership could play a big role in this game's outcome. James Thompson IV, Paul Jackson, Elijah Minnie, Boubacar Toure and Kevin McAdoo have collectively accounted for 79 percent of Eastern Michigan's scoring this season. For Ball State, Tayler Persons, Tahjai Teague, K.J. Walton and Trey Moses have combined to account for 68 percent of all Ball State scoring, including 81 percent of the team's points over its last five games.

FACILITATING THE OFFENSE: Persons has either made or assisted on 46 percent of all Ball State field goals over the last three games. The senior guard has accounted for 22 field goals and 10 assists in those games.

UNDEFEATED WHEN: The Eagles are 6-0 when they make eight or more 3-pointers and 9-16 when they fall shy of that mark. The Cardinals are 5-0 when turning the ball over 10 times or fewer and 10-16 when the team exceeds that total.

FLOOR SPACING: Eastern Michigan's Minnie has attempted 211 3-pointers and connected on 32.7 percent of them, and is 5 for 24 over his past five games.

DID YOU KNOW: Eastern Michigan is ranked first among MAC teams with an offensive rebound percentage of 36.1 percent. The Eagles have averaged 12.6 offensive boards per game.