Josh Blessing

The holidays were good to Ball State as it improved to 9-4 overall and 1-0 in the Mid- American Conference.

The Cardinals went 4-1 during Winter Break with victories over Mount St. Joseph, North Carolina A&T, SIU Edwardsville and Northern Illinois. Valparaiso defeated Ball State for the Cardinals' only loss.

In the first game over break, Ball State defeated Mount St. Joseph 95-43. In the blowout, the Cardinals had five players score in double figures. They had 46 points in the paint and scored 22 points off turnovers.

The 52-point victory against Mount St. Joseph is the largest since 2004, when Ball State defeated Anderson 106-53.

Ball State would lose the next game against Valparaiso 69-52. However, it would finish break on a three game winning streak with an 80-68 victory over North Carolina A&T, a 76-46 victory against SIU Edwardsville and a 75-70 win at Northern Illinois to begin MAC play.

Jarrod Jones went on a scoring tear over the five-game stretch. Jones scored 25 points against both North Carolina A&T and Northern Illinois. His lowest scoring output came against Mount St. Joseph, when he recorded 15 points.

Ball State is tied for first place in the MAC West Division with Western Michigan (8-6) and Eastern Michigan (4-10). The Cardinals and the Broncos will square off Wednesday in Worthen Arena in a key matchup early in MAC play.

The Cardinals were picked as preseason favorites to win the MAC West.