Ball State’s defense caused problems for the Missouri State offense all night, leading the Cardinals to a 70-58 home-opening victory on Monday evening.

The Cardinals found themselves in control early, starting the first quarter with 17-8 lead and never looked back, maintaining a double-digit advantage for most of the game. 

“Most impressive thing we did was really from start to finish we controlled it,” Ball State head coach Brady Sallee said. “From Saturday to today with only one day to prep I’m really impressed with what we were able to do defensively.”

The Lady Bears committed 21 turnovers and struggled to find openings, shooting just 36.8 percent from the field. 

“We put a very specific game plan in front of them,” Sallee said. “I thought we did a really good job I thought [Ball State junior guard] Jasmin Samz stepped up and did a great job on their best player.”

Senior forward Moriah Monaco lead all scorers with 21 points and was 5-for-10 from behind the three-point line. Junior guard Carmen Grande and senior guard Frannie Frazier added 11.

“Anybody can hit those shots especially if you are in the gym like our team is," Monaco said. "We truly are in the gym shooting just so we are ready to hit those shots. I couldn’t have done that without [Grande].”

Grande recorded her first double-double of the season by adding 10 assists to help power the Ball State offense. 

“I personally was not having the best day so I tried to find different options,” Grande said. “When I’m not hitting layups I can get people open just trying to find the part of my game that can help us.” 

Ball State will be back in action at Worthen Arena on Wednesday against Lipscomb at 7 p.m.

Contact Daric Clemens with comments at diclemens@bsu.edu or on Twitter @dclemens_.