Junior guard Jontrell Walker shoots a layup in the second half of Ball State’s game against Stony Brook on Nov. 17 in John E. Worthen Arena. Walker scored eight points. Paige Grider, DN
Road trip ends with a 93-85 Ball State victory over Indiana State
A strong shooting performance gave the Cardinals its first victory in Terre Haute since 2009.
Ball State (2-4) wrapped up its nearly 8,000 mile road trip with a 93-85 victory over Indiana State (2-4) Saturday.
The team's highest scoring performance of the season came from a strong shooting effort in all facets of the game for the Cardinals.
"They were really trying to force turnovers, they did force a lot of turnovers," head coach James Whitford said in a postgame interview. "The way we get people to stop doing that to us is [to] play like we did tonight ... once we were able to connect a pass or two, we got whatever we wanted from a shot."
While Ball State committed 21 turnovers, it shot its best game this season — shooting 61.7 percent (29-47) from the field, 57.9 percent (11-19) from 3-point range and 80 percent (24-30) from the free throw line.
The strong shooting performance was led by an even Cardinals stat sheet, led by double-digit scorers — Tayler Persons (18), Sean Sellers (14), Jontrell Walker (13), Tahjai Teague (13) and Francis Kiapway (11) — and Kyle Mallers (9) and Ishmael El-Amin (8), who made an impact on the floor.
For the first time this season, Walker started in place of Sellers. In the start, the junior guard pulled in two rebounds and four assists on top of his perfect shooting performance.
"Sean is a key player for our team, but you know, Jontrell has earned [the start]," Whitford said. "He's playing well and he's doing the right stuff because he earned it and we thought the way they play was a good matchup for him. We'll see where it goes for the next game and the game after that. They're both really key players for our team."
Sellers made a big impact for the Cardinals off the bench, scoring 14 points and pulling in a team-high eight rebounds while committing no fouls.
After going up in the first two minutes of the game, Ball State never gave up the lead to its in-state rival. The Cardinals head back to Muncie for the first time in nearly two weeks.
"We've had such a crazy travel [schedule]," Whitford said. "I'm not going to see them all until Monday because we all need a break from each other and they're getting a well deserved break."
Ball State returns to action at 7 p.m. Nov. 28 to play Oakland City and Dec. 2 to play IUPUI — both games will be played at home.