It took over five minutes of action for Illinois-Springfield to even make a basket in Ball State's 92-42 exhibition victory.

The Cardinals used the strong defense to start the game with an 11-0 run.

“We wanted to set the tempo, we wanted to play really fast today and that’s the way that we have been practicing,” Ball State head coach Brady Sallee said.

In the first quarter Ball State came out with a full-court press, which caused Illinois-Springfield to turn over the ball 10 times. 

Both junior guard Carmen Grande and freshman guard Maliah Howard-Bass led the Cardinals with four steals apiece. Ball State had 21 steals as team, with all but three players recording a takeaway.

Ball State stayed active on defense and held Illinois-Springfield to only 3 points and forced them to shoot just 7.1 percent from the field in the quarter.

Things picked up for Illinois-Springfield a bit in the second quarter, adding 13-points and shooting 42 percent. The Prairie Stars found more open looks, leading to the increased scoring.

Ball State headed into the locker room leading 45-16. 

Sallee and his team noticed Illinois-Springfield's improved offense in the second quarter, and did not give up a basket for over six minutes coming out of halftime.

Going into the second half, Ball State went back to the full-court press, which caused problems quickly as it forced a turnover on the first possession that led to a fast break layup.

Sallee was impressed with the team's ability to cause havoc with the full-court pressure.

"I think our full-court press was pretty good and in the half-court we need to get better we did better in the second half but we need to pick it up," senior forward Destiny Washington said.

Washington also recorded a double-double with 18 points and 14 rebounds. She led the game in both categories.

Sallee and his team noticed Illinois-Springfield's improved offense in the second quarter, and did not give up a basket for over six minutes coming out of halftime.

“Clearly, there are some places where we get caught in between and we have to keep getting better at it but they’re working on it and we’ve come light years and I think it’s something I look forward to seeing how hard we play and if we’re willing to do it all year long,” Sallee said.

The Cardinals finished the game only allowing the Prairie Hawks to shoot 27 percent from the field and forcing them to commit 34 turnovers. 

Contact Daric Clemens with comments at diclemens@bsu.edu.