Northern Illinois (2-9, 1-5) vs. Ball State (5-5, 3-2)
John E. Worthen Arena, Muncie, Indiana; Saturday, 1 p.m. EST
BOTTOM LINE: Northern Illinois seeks revenge on Ball State after dropping the first matchup in DeKalb. The teams last played each other on Dec. 8, when Northern Illinois made just 15 foul shots on 21 attempts while the Cardinals went 25 for 39 en route to a 79-70 victory.
SQUAD LEADERSHIP: K.J. Walton has averaged 17.3 points and 5.5 rebounds to lead the way for the Cardinals. Ishmael El-Amin has paired with Walton and is maintaining an average of 15.2 points and two steals per game. The Huskies are led by Trendon Hankerson, who is averaging 12.4 points and 4.5 rebounds.
TAKE IT UP A NOTCH: The Cardinals have scored 76 points per game across five conference games, an improvement from the 69 per game they recorded against non-conference competition.TERRIFIC TRENDON: Hankerson has connected on 30.6 percent of the 72 3-pointers he’s attempted and has made 8 of 18 over his last three games. He’s also made 71.4 percent of his foul shots this season.
SLIPPING AT 68: Northern Illinois is 0-8 when it allows at least 68 points and 2-1 when it holds opponents to less than 68.
COLD SPELL: Northern Illinois has lost its last five road games, scoring 59.6 points, while allowing 83.8 per game.
DID YOU KNOW: Northern Illinois has averaged only 59 points per game over its last five games. The Huskies have given up 71.4 points per game over that stretch.
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