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2018 MAC Basketball Preview: Toledo Rockets at Ball State Cardinals

The top two teams in the MAC West battle it out Saturday afternoon.

NCAA Basketball: Ball State at Notre Dame Matt Cashore-USA TODAY Sports

The Toledo Rockets (19-7, 11-2 MAC) will head to Muncie for a rematch with the Ball State Cardinals (17-9, 8-5 MAC) Saturday afternoon.

The Rockets have been the best in the MAC (well...tied with the Buffalo Bulls). Their only loss in their past 12 games came at the hands of these Cardinals, who stole a 75-63 win in Toledo two weeks back. In their last 16 games, they’ve gone an incredible 14-2.

Ball State has come on strong lately here, winning five of their last six, and look to narrow the gap between themselves and the Rockets and cut Toledo’s lead to just two games.


Game Details

  • When: Saturday, Feb. 17th, 2018 at 2:00 p.m.
  • Where: Worthen Arena - Muncie, Indiana
  • Watch: ESPN3 and the WatchESPN app

Players to Watch

Tayler Persons, G, BSU - Persons leads the team in scoring (14.7) and assists (4.4) and runs the Cardinal offense. In the past three contests he’s averaged 4.3 assists, 15.3 points, and has shot 43.6%.

Trey Moses, C, BSU - Moses has come on strong in the last month for Ball State. He’s averaging 18.3 points, 9.8 rebounds, and 3.8 assists in the last six matches. In the last two games he’s been lights out, shooting 85.7% (18-21) while dropping 22 points in each game.

Nate Navigato, F, Toledo - Navigato has had a couple solid games lately, averaging 17 points, 5.5 rebounds, and two assists in the past two contests. On the season, his 12.4 points per game has him third on the team.

Tre’Shaun Fletcher, G, Toledo - Fletcher leads the team, and is third in the MAC, averaging 18.7 points and 8.6 rebounds per game. He’s scored 14+ points in each of the last 14 games for the Rockets including eight games with 20 or more.


Prediction

The Cardinals will come out fighting in this one as they want to claw their way closer to the top spot in the MAC West. But the Rockets should have enough firepower to avoid losing both games to Ball State.

Fletcher and Jaelan Sanford should be able to keep the Rockets ahead of BSU for most of the game, especially when it counts...at the final buzzer.

Toledo Rockets - 84
Ball State Cardinals - 76