Sophomore center Renee Bennett looks to drive the ball during the game against Eastern Michigan on Feb. 25 at Worthen Arena. DN PHOTO AMER KHUBRANI
Bennett, Morrison lead Cardinals over Evansville
Coming into Nov. 16's game, Ball State women's basketball (2-0) had two main objectives. It needed to stop Evansville senior guard Sara Dickey, and it needed to take advantage of its height down low.
After putting up an 84-49 victory over the Purple Aces, it was clear that the Cardinals accomplished both of those goals.
Not only did they hold Dickey to 8 points, but they also scored 52 points in the paint.
Senior center Renee Bennett led the way down low, scoring 16 points on 6 of 11 shooting. The game plan centered around Bennett, and while it took her some time to get going, she said she was glad to shake off the problems in the first half to have a sizable impact in the final twenty minutes.
"My teammates kept trying to get it in there to me," Bennett said. "I just had to keep playing through that rut I was stuck in for the first half."
Head coach Brady Sallee acknowledged it's not a difficult decision to run your game through someone as skilled as Bennett.
"When you've got somebody as talented as [Bennett], that's clearly where your game plan is going to start," Sallee said. "Coming out of our last game, I think her confidence was at an all-time high. She's as good as there is out there, and she showed it tonight."
While Bennett had a successful night in the paint, senior guard Jill Morrison had an effective game beyond the arc. She made four shots from 3-point range, leading her team on the night with 19 points. Morrison said she has her teammates to thank for finding her in the right spots.
"It was a lot of execution," Morrison said. "My teammates were getting me the ball in a scoring position, and all I have to do is knock it down. It felt good."
Ball State scored over 80 points for the second straight game to start the season.
Sallee emphasized the idea that his team is comprised of a lot of capable players, not just the five who start the game.
"Through the past few years, I've felt like I've almost had six starters," Sallee said. "You're seeing that look where [sophomore guard Destiny Washington] comes in or [junior guard Frannie Frazier] comes in and there's not much of a change in anything we do. Sometimes we can play different depending on the lineups, which is always tough for teams to play against too."
The Cardinals will look to carry their hot start into next week. They head to Savannah, Georgia, to play three games in three days. The first game will be against Auburn at 4:30 p.m. Nov. 22.