Ball State's guard Tayler Persons attempts to push past Indiana State's players during the game on Nov. 15 in Worthen Arena. The Cardinals lost 74-80. Grace Ramey // DN
Sloppiness plagues Ball State in home-opening overtime loss to Indiana State
Ball State men's basketball corralled two consecutive offensive rebounds with 12 minutes left in regulation against Indiana State, but failed to capitalize.
The second half ended with a 64-64 tie, and after overtime the Cardinals' 16 offensive rebounds weren’t enough to overcome their low shooting percentage in their 80-74 loss to Indiana State Nov. 15.
Head coach James Whitford was disappointed in his team's performance.
“It’s a long basketball season and this early, but I felt like, aside from [Indiana State's] good performance , we're better than the team that we showed tonight,” Whitford said.
The Cardinals shot 38 percent from the field, but it was the little things that hurt them in the end.
Ball State got to the foul line 23 times, but only hit 69.6 percent of those shots — including two crucial misses by senior forward Franko House with less than a minute in regulation.
“In a game like this, when you think they shot 72 percent and we shot 69 percent from the line and it went to overtime, that’s how you win and lose games,” Whitford said.
House and redshirt sophomore point guard Tayler Persons carried the team with a combined 47 points, but Persons finished with six turnovers.
"My teammates have a lot of confidence in me," Persons said. "But I’m more disappointed in having 6 turnovers and letting my team down in that aspect."
Whitford was also disappointed that his team racked up 11 first half turnovers and only three assists.
“That’s terrible,” Whitford said. “That’s bad basketball that I watched in the first half.”
The Cardinals protected the ball better in the second half, recording seven assists and just four turnovers. Still, the Sycamores scored 20 points off of Ball State turnovers.
"I'm more than confident I cannot turn the ball over," Persons said. "It's just getting ahead of myself and not trying to go for the home run every time."
Whitford said a lot of the turnovers came from the inability to get their offense going due to Indiana State's constant pressure.
"We have to be able to execute plays against teams that pressure us," Whitford said. "They were the more aggressive team, they were the more physical team and they won that battle."
Ball State finished the game with only six bench points, even though Whitford had to turn to his bench frequently with sophomore center Trey Moses in foul trouble.
Senior forward Ryan Weber went 1-8 from the field and missed all three of his attempts from beyond the 3-point line. As a team, the Cardinals shot 23 percent from behind the arc.
Sixteen second-chance points kept the Cardinals in the game to force overtime, but the inability to protect the rim hurt the Cardinals. Ball State gave up 34 points in the paint and only tallied two blocked shots, both by redshirt freshman center Tahjai Teague, who played 17 minutes off the bench.
When the Cardinals needed it most in overtime, the rim seemed to have a lid on it. While the Cardinals had trouble getting shots to fall, the Sycamores didn't miss a field goal in overtime.
This was the first game of six the team will play in 14 days. The Cardinals' next game will be Nov. 18 at Alabama.