It looks like the Ball State Cardinals are glad to be back, home winning their first game of the season after losing two on the road. The Cardinals defeated Stony Brook 87-76 in the home opener backed by a strong performance from Tayler Persons who was on a tear.
First Half Summary
The opening half was not the type they wanted, but it wasn’t bad. The defense was almost solid, and the offense was there for the Cardinals who never led and almost tied several times. The Cardinals put up a 6-0 scoring run, spanning just over one minute cutting an 8-point deficit down to only 2 points. Both sides mainly exchanged buckets whenever one scored the other scored. Ball State ended up settling with a small 42-34 deficit going into the second half.
Second Half Summary
The final half of action went excellent for Ball State, who completely took over and won the game with ease. The second half started out on a 12-5 scoring run for the Cardinals, who made it only a 1-point deficit with over 16 minutes left in action. Later in the half, they would go on another scoring burst with a 13-5 run which would give them a 70-64 lead with 5 minutes left. They would end up closing out the half on another run and ultimately winning the game by 11 points with a monstrous 53-point second half.
Top Individual Performances
Tayler Persons: 29 Points (12/18 FG, 2/5 3P, 3/5 FT), 5 rebounds, 2 assists, 2 steals, 1 block, 34 minutes
Kyle Mallers: 16 Points (4/6 FG, 1/2 3P, 7/9 FT), 4 rebounds, 1 steal, 1 block, 26 minutes
Tahjai Teague: 13 Points (4/5 FG, 5/6 FT), 6 rebounds, 5 steals, 1 block, 26 minutes
Sean Sellers: 10 Points (2/4 FG, 1/3 3P, 5/5 FT), 1 rebound, 2 assists, 1 steal, 28 minutes
Ball State shot 27-53 (50.9%) on field goals, 6-18 (33.3%) on three-pointers, and 27-34 (79.4%) on free throws throughout the game. It’s not too often you see teams with over 30 free throw attempts, with the Cardinals achieving that mark. Ball State attacked the rim aggressively with no questions asked, and always seemed to draw a foul every time down the court.
A surprising area where Stony Brook beat Ball State in was the Battle of the Boards. The Seawolves grabbed 38 total rebounds including 18 offensive, and 20 defensive. The Cardinals grabbed only 29 total boards with 9 offensive, and 20 defensive. Usually, the winning team ends up having more rebounds, and this was not the case for Ball State. Anyway, it does not matter because look at who won.
Ball State played better than Stony Brook at Defensive Playmaking. The Cardinals stole the ball nine times and rejected 3 shots while only allowing 76 points. They also forced more Stony Brook turnovers, with the Seawolves giving Ball State the ball 18 times.
UP NEXT: Ball State will look to keep the momentum going, with a road game against a tough Oregon team on Sunday at 9:00 PM Eastern.