Ball State women's basketball travels to Cleveland State for season opener
Ball State women's basketball looks to start off the 2017-18 regular season on the right note as it hits the road for its season opener against Cleveland State.
The Cardinals will take on the Vikings on Saturday as they open up the non-conference portion of their schedule.
Cleveland State finished its season last year 14-16, but Ball State knows that it needs to be at the top of its game to come out with a win.
“They are dangerous especially at home,” head coach Brady Sallee said. “Early in the season everybody thinks they are going to go 30-0, so their confidence is high and you’re not playing a team that was below .500 [at the end of last season].”
For the first time this season, the Cardinals will play in a different arena as they look to prove themselves while on the road.
“We have done everything here," Sallee said. "We have so many new faces, they haven’t been on a bus and they haven’t stayed in a hotel. I’ve had some really good road teams and some really bad ones.”
However, Sallee is turning to his senior leaders to make the younger players' experience easier during the travel.
“I think we have good leadership, which I think usually helps on the road," Sallee said. "They will help make this a business type of trip and hopefully we stay focused."
Cleveland State will enter Saturday's contest coming off a 65-55 win in its exhibition game against Muskingum.
“They have a lot of experience, they know their system inside and out and they have a lot of really good athletes,” Sallee said.
Ball State is confident going into the game, but knows it will need a strong defense to shut down a competitive Cleveland State offense.
“They play a system that is really offense oriented, and if we let them go off and score a ton of points, I think we can too but I just don’t want to rely on offense,” Sallee said. “We’re going to have to do good enough to keep them at least under wraps a bit so we can play the game how we want to.”
The last time Ball State ran into Cleveland State was in a preseason Women's National Invitation Tournament matchup in the 2008-09 season, where Ball State walked away with a 61-60 victory.
The Cardinals and Vikings will tipoff in Cleveland at the Wolstein Center at 1 p.m. on Saturday.
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