Ball State men's basketball suffers worst home loss since 2013
Sitting atop the Mid-American Conference West division, the Ball State men's basketball team suffered their worst home loss since the 2013 season.
"We got our butt kicked, that's as bad of a beatdown as we've had all year," head coach James Whitford said after Ball State's (15-8, 6-4 MAC) 96-69 home loss to Buffalo (11-12, 5-5 MAC) on Feb. 3.
The 27-point loss was Ball State's worst loss at Worthen Arena since a 69-42 loss against Ohio on Feb. 6, 2013.
Worst home losses by season:
2016-17: 69-96 to Buffalo on Feb. 3, 2017
2015-16: 63-72 to Pepperdine on Dec. 12, 2015; 64-73 to Akron on Jan. 30, 2016
2014-15: 52-72 to James Madison on Dec. 17, 2014
2013-14: 50-69 to Valparaiso on Dec. 4, 2013
2012-13: 42-69 to Ohio on Feb. 6, 2013
To put that in perspective, the last time the Cardinals had a home loss with this wide of a margin, Whitford was still the associate head coach at the University of Arizona and Jo Ann Gora was the president of Ball State.
"I feel like we really got discouraged and it kind of just snowballed in a bad way for us," senior guard/forward Ryan Weber said. "We just really got blistered there."
Friday night's game was a lot different than the first time these two teams met this year on Jan. 14.
"It's hard to imagine watching it tonight, but we were able to beat them by 15 on the road at their place," Whitford said. "I've seem them play really well. They normally don't shoot as well but I don't think that had anything to do with the margin of the loss."
Whitford said there were a lot of times in the game where the team was just too impatient.
"On offense for us, their physicality and toughness was one part of the story. But the other part was that we were way too impatient on offense," Whitford said. "Eighteen turnovers was a product of trying to make plays on one or two or three passes two many and it led to a lot of bad decisions."
The Cardinals also struggled on the glass as they were out-rebounded 39-27 overall and 13-6 on offensive rebounds.
"I thought their physicality bothered us, no question about it," Whitford said. "They outplayed us, out-toughed us and they made a lot of shots and when you put all three of those together, that's what led to their win."
One positive for the Cardinals was senior forward Franko House finishing with a career-high 24 points in the loss.
"He's much more assertive on offense right now and that's why he's scoring," Whitford said. "A lot of his points came on drives because of [Buffalo's] pressure."
The Cardinals schedule doesn't get any easier as they travel to Ohio Feb. 7 to take on the Mid-American Conference leading Akron Zips (19-3, 9-0 MAC) at 6 p.m.
"We don't really have any time to sulk on this one or let it drag into the next game, we just have to take it for what it is," Weber said. "They played a great game and took us out of ours."