MEN'S BASKETBALL: Freshman sparks Cardinals to victory
Berry's 13 first-half points fuel big first half for Ball State
In a matter of seconds, Randy Davis turned a defensive rebound into a fast break. Dribbling up the right sideline, Davis found Jesse Berry on the left wing. The pass hit Berry right in stride and he rose up and nailed a dagger 3-pointer.
Ball State was down one before the shot. They never trailed again.
"Usually when you run the floor, good things happen," Berry said. "And when I caught it [the pass] I was wide open, so I let it go."
Berry let it go from 3-point land four times in the first half. All his attempts went in, but none bigger than the lead changer.
The freshman guard finished with 15 points in 15 minutes. Foul trouble limited his time on the court, but he made the most of it.
"We encourage our [point] guards to push the ball and kick it ahead to Jesse and Jauwan [Scaife]," coach Billy Taylor said. "Credit to them for running. Jesse, in this case, was able to step up and knock shots down to get in a great rhythm."
It was clear Berry was feeling good. It didn't matter where he caught the ball or where he shot from.
In one sequence, Berry pulled up from about 25 feet away from the basket and swished. His form looked as effortless from long range as it did from the foul line.
Berry's 3-pointers changed the momentum of the game. He accounted for 13 points in a 31-12 run to end the first half.
Despite his clutch shooting, Berry insists he wasn't doing anything special. He admitted to being in a groove, but said he just did what felt natural.
"When I'm in a zone, I just shoot it basically," Berry said. "If I'm feeling it, it's a good shot. I know coach Taylor wants me to take it, my team wants me to take it. I get it and I put it up."