The Ball State men's basketball team runs onto the court after upsetting No. 9 Notre Dame 80-77 on Dec. 5 at Edmund P. Joyce Center. Junior guard Tayler Persons made the game-winning shot with 1.7 seconds left. Screenshot from video by Robby General, DN.
Ball State men's basketball utilized its 2nd chances in 80-77 upset over No. 9 Notre Dame
For every second chance Ball State men's basketball utilized on the glass, the Purcell Pavilion Joyce Center fell a little more quiet.
In a high-energy game from start to finish, Ball State (5-4) upset No. 9 Notre Dame (7-2) 80-77.
In a game where the Cardinals out-rebounded the Fighting Irish 40 to 26, Ball State put up 13 offensive rebounds, compared to Notre Dame’s four.
"To me, that was the stat of the game, the 40 to 26 on the glass," Ball State head coach James Whitford said. "We're a lot bigger right now than we were earlier in the year because Trey Moses was really limited early on when we started playing and practicing. He gives us much bigger size. But I thought that was the story of the game."
Height showed for the Cardinals as 6-foot-8 redshirt sophomore Tahjai Teague posted four offensive rebounds of his own for a total of eight, while 6-foot-9 junior center Trey Moses totaled for seven rebounds.
While outplaying Notre Dame in front of 8,891 fans at the Joyce Center, the Ball State fan section got louder as each ball was tipped in.
Beyond being aggressive in the paint, Teague recorded 13 points before fouling out with 2:03 left in the game, while senior forward Sean Sellers totaled for 11 points next to his seven rebounds.
"I think I just kind of changed my mindset," Sellers said. "I kind of went out there and played with a chip on my shoulder, not really worried about anything else. I was just trying to make shots."
Ball State came out patient, immediately using a block of second chances to enter the second half with a well-deserved 34-29 lead.
In a tough second half battle in front of a loud Notre Dame crowd, Ball State remained patient through Notre Dame’s defense, taking advantage of the shot clock.
Eight of the Cardinal's 46 points in the second half came on a second chance — enough to be the difference in this game.
Notre Dame head coach Mike Brey knew about Ball State's sound going into tonight's game and credits the team for its second shots.
“I give Ball State all the credit in the world, I thought they played fabulous," Brey said. "We were on our heels the whole night. My worry is how they would shoot it from the arc, and we did the job there, but the second shots really hurt us and they made big shots. You’ve got to tip your hat off to Persons because he lined that one up.”
Ball State will return home on Saturday for a 2 p.m. tipoff against Valparaiso.
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