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No surprises for the RedHawks against Ball State

Ashley Huss - WMU Athletics
Ashley Huss - WMU Athletics

Tonight's game between the Miami RedHawks and the Ball State Cardinals presents a familiar situation against a familiar opponent.

Last time the two met, on Jan. 22, the RedHawks headed to Muncie, Indiana, nursing a four-game losing streak and in desperate need of a win. It was a Tuesday night.

This time, Miami is coming off an overtime loss to Western Michigan -- the last-place team in the Mid-American Conference -- and hosts the Cardinals at Millett Hall, needing a win. It's a Tuesday night.

And because the teams have seen each other this season once before, this time, there will be no surprises.

When asked what to expect from the Cardinals tonight, Miami head coach Jack Owens responded, "The usual suspects."

Tonight's predicted Ball State starting five is identical to its lineup from the teams' first meeting.

"They're just a solid team," Owens said. "Like every team in this league, you have to be ready to go ... They're going to want to, obviously, beat us because we beat them earlier in the year."

Redshirt senior guard Tayler Persons is the main focus of Owens's "usual suspects" statement. Persons makes the Cardinal offense go with averages of 16.9 points and 4.6 assists per game. He scored 11 against the RedHawks last month. Miami senior guard Darrian Ringo figures to be his primary defender again tonight.

"Persons is a really good player," Owens said. "He's a point guard that leads them, scoring the basketball, facilitating. He's a competitor."

Owens also talked about his familiarity with Ball State's senior big man Trey Moses.

"He's been around college basketball for a long time," Owens said. "He's a senior who does a great job facilitating from the post and playing ball-screen D and post D."

The last time these teams met, Miami got its much-needed first MAC win of the season. Tomorrow, they'll look to bounce back and get another victory against a familiar foe.

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They know what to expect.

SCOUTING REPORT

THE GAME

Tipoff: 7 p.m. tonight at Millett Hall

TV/Radio: ESPN+/Miami IMG Sports Network

MIAMI REDHAWKS

Record: 13-12 (5-7 Mid-American)

Offense: 72.6 ppg

Defense: 69.2 ppg

PROJECTED LINEUP

Player (position, height, key stat)

Mekhi Lairy (guard, 5'8", 6.0 ppg)

Nike Sibande (guard, 6'4", 15.7 ppg)

Abdoulaye Harouna (guard, 6'5", 5.0 ppg)

Dalonte Brown (forward, 6'7", 12.7 ppg)

Bam Bowman (forward, 6'8", 10.0 ppg)

BALL STATE CARDINALS

Record: 14-11 (5-7 MAC)

Offense: 78.3 ppg

Defense: 72.7 ppg

PROJECTED LINEUP

Player (position, height, key stat)

Tayler Persons (guard, 6'3", 16.9 ppg)

K.J. Walton (guard, 6'3", 14.3 ppg)

Kyle Mallers (forward, 6'7", 7.8 ppg)

Tahjai Teague (forward, 6'8", 14.0 ppg)

Trey Moses (center, 6'9", 8.9 ppg)

NCAA NET Ranking: Miami (138); Ball State (112)

vinelca@miamioh.edu

@ChrisAVinel

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