WOMEN'S BASKETBALL: Turnovers doom Ball State in loss to Butler
Cardinals' offense slow in low-scoring loss
INDIANAPOLIS—Being at the historical Hinkle Fieldhouse didn't bode well for Ball State on Friday evening.
Up against a struggling Butler group, Ball State (4-5) regressed with a loss instead of taking another step forward.
The Bulldogs came out and pressured the Cardinals defensively, who responded with poor decisions rather than with patience, resulting in a 55-43 loss to their in-state rival.
"One of the things that I do have perspective on is with a young team, you can almost bank [on] you're going to see inconsistency," coach Kelly Packard said. "I talked to them a lot about emotional maturity. [Butler] is a team that's struggled. They're down a couple of kids. They're hungry for a win. I knew that they'd come out feisty. When we got frustrated about their pressure, instead of executing, we were ready to make a quick decision."
Those quick decisions led to 27 turnovers for the game and a season-low 43 points for Ball State, who are now 1-3 away from Worthen Arena.
From the opening tip-off, the Cardinals were uncomfortable on offense. The Bulldogs capitalized on the Cardinals' errors, scoring 21 points off turnovers.
"When you're trying to make a quick play, you're catching people in places on the floor that they're not used to and then they're trying to create a shot," Packard said. "Then you're going to dip down into the percentages that we were. Those aren't shots that flow out of our offense."
Bulldogs' senior guard Devin Brierly led both teams in scoring with a career-high 22 points. Packard said Brierly is a gifted player with a lot of talent.
"She's got that nice hesitation move," Packard said. "She's got that one shot mastered on the right side of the floor where she gets her shoulders turned. There were some difficult shots that she hit at full tilt. It's not easy to go at full tilt and bank it off the glass."
Frustrated at the final outcome, Packard said her main focus is to figure out how to get her team to grow up.
"Emotional immaturity right now is something that comes with having a young team and it's going to be a challenge to see how quickly we can get that part of the game to rotate," Packard said.