Ball State men's basketball wins in overtime, 75-71
It took an overtime period to separate Ball State and Western Michigan, but the Cardinals came away with a 75-71 win at Worthen Arena.
Coming off what head coach James Whitford called “the biggest win of the season” (the 72-64 victory at Bowling Green), Ball State men’s basketball shot 50 percent from beyond the arc to beat Western Michigan.
Sophomore guard Jeremie Tyler and junior guard Francis Kiapway shot 9-14 from behind the 3-point line and combined for 31 points. Kiapway had 12 points, while Tyler led the way for Ball State with 19.
Ball State Scoring Leaders
Jeremie Tyler - 19
Francis Kiapway - 14
Ryan Weber - 13
Bo Calhoun - 12
Ball State’s intensity showed throughout the contest as they held Western Michigan below 40 percent shooting from the field.
“Western came out in the first half and really hurt us. … They had a good plan, they did some things that hurt us — combined with we didn’t play with the level passion and fire," Whitford said. "Fortunately, we were able to catch it in time and turn things around."
The Cardinals' defense stepped up the physicality in the second half and won the point differential 33-29 to force overtime with both teams tied at 59.
Senior forward Franko House scored the first points in overtime off two free throws to give Ball State the 61-59 lead, onward to victory. House had 8 points and nine assists on the day.
“[House] was great down the stretch," Whitford said. "It is a typical thing where [House] dominates the game and finishes with 8 points."
House hit a key 3-pointer with 2:27 left in the game to give the Cardinals a 56-55 lead. That shot sparked him to take over from there.
“It gave me confidence to start shooting again; it made me more aggressive to drive and attack the rim,” House said.
Ball State had 18 assists and four different players in the double-digit scoring category. The Cardinals rank first in the Mid-American Conference in assists.
“We are a deep team, … that is the strength of our team," Whitford said. "We can come at you with real depth and share the ball together."
Ball State improves to 15-8, 6-4 MAC. The Cardinals are in action Feb. 9 for Ball State Sports' second annual Social Media Night.
Students can get their Twitter or Instagram handle put on a shirt and pick it up at the game. Tip-off is slated for 7 p.m.