Members of the men's basketball team huddle up before the game against Bowling Green on Feb. 14 at Worthen Arena. DN PHOTO BREANNA DAUGHERTY
Last-second layup leads Ball State men's basketball past Miami, 48-46
Ball State men’s basketball captured its third conference win in a comeback victory over Miami on Jan. 16 at Worthen Arena 48-46 on a last-second shot by senior guard Jeremiah Davis.
With fewer than 30 seconds remaining, the Cardinals got the ball in a tied 46-46 game. After winding the clock down, Davis hit a layup with 1.8 seconds remaining, giving Miami no chance to score.
The Muncie native would win the game for the Cardinals, moving them to 12 wins on the season.
The come-from-behind win was necessary after a sloppy first half where the Cardinals gave up nine turnovers, going down 28-17 in the first 20 minutes of play.
“That was the worst first half of basketball we have played all season,” head coach James Whitford said. “We must come out with more effort and focus.”
The Redhawks' pick-and-roll offense and man-to-man defense created problems for the Cardinals. Miami’s Eric Washington had 13 points through the first half, and coach James Whitford knew his team had to make adjustments.
Whitford took a strategic approach during halftime to pick up the team's production.
“For me to harp on how we played in first half isn’t productive. I gave them specific examples on what needed to change,” Whitford said.
Sophomore guard Jeremie Tyler expanded on the locker room talk between the halves.
“We talked about what we had to fix on defense because we were making it to easy for Eric Washington to score," Tyler said.
Things picked up in the second half, as the Cardinals were able to slow down the Redhawks' offense. Tyler went on a 7-0 run to bring Ball State within one, 40-39.
He credited his open looks to the team’s defensive play.
“It all started with our defense. That is what tied the game, and that is what won us this game,” Tyler said.
Junior guard Ryan Weber had an “off game” by his standards, but hit a huge 3-pointer to give Ball State a 44-43 lead en route to the team's victory.
"It was an ugly game but a fun game, and any win in the [Mid-American Conference] is a good win," Weber said.
Defense has been a crucial part to the Cardinals' success all season, as Whitford continues to preach his defensive approach both on and off the court.
“Offense can come and go, but there has got to be one constant for your team, and that is your defense,” Whitford said.
The Cardinals will be in action once again on Jan. 19 as Ball State squares off against Kent State at Worthen Arena.