After a nine-day break Ball State men’s basketball took on Longwood for the third straight season, winning 61-45 on Dec. 19.

The Cardinals were 0-10 from the 3-point line in the first half but were able to take a 23-19 lead into halftime.

In the second half, Ball State made four of their first 3-point shots to stretch out a 37-21 lead.  

Ball State Statistics:

Leading scorer: Francis Kiapway - 10

Leading rebounder: Trey Moses - 11

Assist leader: Trey Moses - 4

Longwood University Statistics

Leading scorer: JaShaun Smith - 11

Leading rebounder: Khris Lane - 10

Assist leader: Chris Shields - 5

Head coach James Whitford said everything else fell into place after that.

Three Takeaways from Whitford’s postgame press conference:

DEFENSE IS IMPROVING:

“I thought we really defended the right way,” Whitford said. “That was the best we have defended for 30 minutes all year.”

Defensively, Ball State held Longwood to 36.5 percent shooting and forced 23 turnovers. Longwood only connected on two three-pointers.

ASSISTS AND REBOUNDS:

If there was anything Whitford was concerned about was rebounding and assists in the first half of play.

“We had one assist in the first half which is very uncharacteristic of us,” Whitford said. “I didn’t feel like we rebounded as well as we could of.”

The Cardinals turned the ball over 13 times and finished the game with 12 total team assists. Longwood did not start anyone over 6'6 but later brought in two 6'8 players off the bench. Still, they tied Ball State in the rebound department at 39.

BALANCED SCORING:

Ball State scored 61 points with eight different players scoring the basketball.

“That is who we are when we are playing well,” Whitford said.

Junior guard Francis Kiapway led the Cardinals with 10 points. Junior guard Sean Sellers started the second half with a 3-pointer that opened up the Cardinals lead and he went on to make two more 3-pointers, finishing with nine points.

Ball State will be in action again on Thursday, Dec. 22 when they host Alabama State in their final non-conference home game of the season.