MEN'S BASKETBALL: Ball State hopes to end offensive slump against Kent State
Struggles on offense overshadow recent defensive performances
Recent offensive struggles have finally caught up to Ball State.
Facing Morehead State on Monday, Ball State only managed to score 48 points and 33.3 percent from the field. Even in previous victories, the Cardinals' inability to score has been a cause for concern.
The road doesn't get any easier with Kent State rolling into Muncie today.
Along with being one of the top three teams in the Mid-American Conference, the Golden Flashes boast one of the top defenses statistically.
They are top five in both scoring defense (65.1 ppg allowed) and field goal percentage defense (41.4 percent).
Ball State was well below both of those numbers in its last game. It was due primarily to their inability to penetrate and score against Morehead State's zone defense.
Luckily for the Cardinals, coach Billy Taylor said the Golden Flashes primarily run a physical man-to-man defense.
In large part, Ball State's ineptness on offense has overshadowed its recent lockdown defense.
The Cardinals held Morehead State to 50 points, but they were unable to win the game. Taylor said holding a team to 50 should be enough to secure a victory.
"Our turnover numbers were too high," Taylor said. "We left points on the free throw line. We didn't have a high enough number of assists. I thought our defensive effort and our rebounding were two areas we were really strong in last night. Unfortunately, offensively we didn't perform near as well as we could have or should have."
The loss against Morehead State spoiled Ball State's seven-game winning streak. Fortunately, the Cardinals are still undefeated in the MAC, where it really matters.
Taylor said his kids responded well to the loss and he expects them to come out with a heightened sense of intensity.
"This is a mature group of guys," Taylor said. "This isn't our first bout of adversity we've faced this season. Our guys have responded in a positive manner many times already this year. I'm hopeful we can do the same thing Thursday against Kent and Saturday against Ohio."