MEN'S BASKETBALL: Ball State cruises past Mount St. Joseph
Cardinals roll to largest win of season
It was clear Ball State had a physical advantage over Mount St. Joseph before the game even started.
Ten unanswered points into the game, the Cardinals left no doubt who was the better team. The early runs propelled them to a 95-43 win over Division III Mount St. Joseph
The Lions' 43 points is the lowest total surrendered by the Cardinals all season. Active hands on defense forced the Lions into mistakes, resulting in 16 turnovers.
"I thought our activity level was really good defensively," said coach Billy Taylor. "They took a lot of threes, and we did a good job contesting the 3-point line. I thought our activity with our hands really set the tone."
Taylor said his team took full advantage of its superior size and speed. Ball State tallied 18 fast break points.
Junior point guard Randy Davis said all the running would not be possible without the effort on defense that turned loose balls into points in transition.
"When we get stops, I can get us out in transition easier," Davis said. "When you got shooters out there like Jauwan [Scaife] and Jesse [Berry], it opens the lane a lot. It opens up the post scoring which helps everyone out and makes it easier."
All the paint touches made scoring the ball look easy for Ball State. The Cardinals shot 59.3 percent for the game on the way to a season-high in points.
Despite the scoring output, Ball State struggled to hold on to the ball, finishing with 15 turnovers. Taylor said that may have been the result of players being too unselfish.
"We kept it somewhat vanilla in terms of what we were doing offensively," Taylor said. "We just tried to focus on sharing the basketball. Sometimes we over shared where we ended up with some turnovers where we should have shot the ball. But the 20 assists on 32 field goals was good."
After an emotional high that came from the overtime win over DePaul, Taylor said he was pleased to see his team come out focused.
"The tone was set by the starting guys," Taylor said. "We had a good intensity and a good focus about us. We'd been practicing well and really competing and I wanted to see that carry over to the games. I thought we did that today."