Ball State women's basketball cruises past Southeast Missouri State
Four different Cardinals scored in double figures as Ball State led Southeast Missouri State (4-6) from start to finish en-route to a 69-56 win to improve to 8-0 on the season.
"I was worried about [this being a trap game after the win at Purdue]," head coach Brady Sallee said. "But they showed me in practice that they were ready to go. We had a good practice a couple of days ago and had a good shootaround."
Although the Ball State offense was sloppy at times, giving up 17 turnovers, the defense made up for it, pitching in its second best performance of the season, only behind its 46 point performance against Lipscomb on Nov. 15.
The RedHawks didn't score a basket for the first seven and a half minutes and missed the first nine shots they took.
Ball State led 15-10 at the end of one, but it was the outburst of 24 second quarter points that helped it build a commanding 20-point lead going into halftime.
"We just came out in that second quarter after the first because we didn't play our best," senior forward Moriah Monaco said. "We just came out the way we knew how to play. We came out and we had a goal to come out and be better and be who we are."
The Cardinals shot 9-for-13 in the second quarter, its best shooting performance in any quarter this season. Ball State also shot 3-of-4 from beyond the arc in the quarter.
"I just ran the offense and the post and the guards found the open spots," sophomore guard Jasmin Samz said. "I executed, I took the shots that I needed to, and sometimes you turn the ball over, but we'll get better from that and learn from the tape we see tomorrow."
Ball State kept up the pressure in the third, outscoring Southeast Missouri 18-11 in the frame on the back of 70 percent shooting from within the 3-point arc.
"We stretched out that led enough where it ended up being a good win for us," Sallee said. "We take this one and move on."
However, Southeast Missouri clawed back in the fourth. The RedHawks shot 66.7 percent in the quarter and scored 26 points to pull within as little as 11 in the final three minutes.
The 26-12 scoreline in the fourth quarter was the largest the Cardinals have been outscored in a quarter all season. Junior guard Adrianna Murphy scored 18 of her 25 points in the second half for the RedHawks in a homecoming of sorts for her, being from Fishers, Ind.
Ball State also went cold in the final frame, shooting just 14.3 percent from the field and making just two baskets from the floor.
The Cardinals struggled throughout from the free throw line, shooting 12-for-21 from the stripe in the victory.
"Unless Tom Brady came in here and took some air out of the ball, I don't know what that was," Sallee said. "We got some opportunities to get to the free throw line and we've got to be better at that."
Monaco led Ball State in scoring with 17 points. Junior forward Destiny Washington, Samz and freshman forward Oshlynn Brown also scored in double figures for the Cardinals.
Junior guard Carmen Grande had a game-high 10 assists.
Next up, Ball State hosts Oakland City at 2 p.m. Sunday at Worthen Arena.
Contact Sam Barloga with comments at firstname.lastname@example.org or on Twitter @SamBarloga.