Junior guard Carmen Grande tries to make it to the basket during the game against Central Michigan University on Feb. 25 at Worthen Arena. Ball State will host the University of Illinois Springfield for an exhibition game on Nov. 1. Emma Rogers, DN File
Ball State lights up Illinois-Springfield in exhibition opener
Ball State gave fans a look at its rejuvenated roster in a 92-42 exhibition victory over Illinois-Springfield on Wednesday night.
The Cardinals shot well over 50 percent from the field and from almost as good from behind the arc, as they made nine triples on just 19 attempts.
While the offense was solid, the Ball State defense was even better. The Cardinals allowed the Prairie Stars to shoot under 30 percent on the game, including a 7.1 percent mark in the first quarter.
"I just like the way we look," Ball State head coach Brady Sallee said. "There's some length, there's some athleticism, there's some versatility, and I think it gives us the ability to play in a lot of different ways and be effective."
Senior forward Destiny Washington was a thorn in the side of the UIS defense, leading all scorers with 18 points, including 8 of those coming in the first quarter. She also led the game with 14 rebounds.
"I just have to be a force down in the post," Washington said. "I don't really focus on points, I just got to do my job and do it well."
The trio of Washington, junior guard Jasmin Samz and senior forward Moriah Monaco teamed up for well over half of Ball State's points, scoring 50 in 71 combined minutes of action.
All four of Ball State's incoming freshman saw playing time, with Maliah Howard-Bass leading the pack in scoring with eight.
"I thought [the freshman] were good," Sallee said. "You saw some skill from Maliah Howard-Bass in the way she can shoot it and she kind of knifed through there ad made a nice move. You saw Sara Price hit a big three. You saw Katie Helgason's hustle. All in all, I liked what I saw out of all four of them and now they've got to learn how to play defense without their hands."
All but one player in Cardinal and White scored in the victory, with 11 different Ball State players making a basket, which Sallee was impressed with.
"I commented on that in the locker room," Sallee said. "Whether it's [junior guard] Nakeya Penny getting her shot or Jazmin Samz, or [freshman forward] Sara Price, we have a lot of people [who can shoot it]."
The Cardinals were dominant from the start, outscoring the Prairie Stars 23-3 in the first quarter. They scored as many as 19 time in a row at one point in the game.
Senior forward Destiny Ramsey led the Prairie Stars in scoring with 13. Only one other UIS player reached double figures.
Ball State opens the regular season on Nov. 11 by traveling to Cleveland State at 1 p.m.