After missing two straight games, junior forward Destiny Washington looked to get back in the flow of things in her return.

Washington added six points and six rebounds to help the Cardinals (18-3, 7-3 MAC) cruise by the Zips (7-14, 1-9 MAC) 97-65. 

“It was good to see her back out there,” Coach Brady Sallee said. “She would be the first one to tell you she wasn’t 100 percent but it’s just part of the process and to get her out there break a sweat and play as well as she did was really good.” 

A 21-6 third quarter run was the breaking point for Akron as they found themselves behind big throughout the remainder of the game. 

“For me that was the best part of the game,” Sallee said. “They made their run and I was really impressed with our answer.” 

As the five-minute mark of the fourth quarter hit, Worthen Arena stood and applauded when senior forward Moriah Monaco headed to the bench following another stellar offensive performance.

Monaco led all scorers with 22 points, shooting 50 percent from the field and knocking down four 3-point shots. 

Ball State also had four other scorers in double-digits as freshman forward Oshlynn Brown scored 16 points and grabbed a team-high 11 rebounds. 

“It felt good,” Brown said. “Being aggressive on the rebounds every time, going for the boards and just helping my team out to get the win.”

The Cardinals were able to dominate down low winning the points in the paint battle 54-18.

The effort down low helped Ball State to shoot 47 percent from field, while Akron shot just 36 percent.

“Really happy with the effort from top to bottom,” Sallee said. “It was good basketball out there for the Cardinals.” 

The Cardinals attacked the glass and out-rebounded the Zips 51- 40.

Pressure on the defensive end caused Akron to panic frequently as they committed 22 turnovers.

“Really excited with what I saw,” Sallee said. “As long and as big as we are, we can give teams fits and you saw many times they just threw it over each other’s heads.”

Ball State took advantage of Akron’s sloppy offense and came up with 15 steals while forcing 22 turnovers

“The best part about it is we kind of saw how they were going to attack it, made some adjustments and our kids handled that really well and they went out and executed,” Sallee said. 

The Cardinals will look to extend their four game win streak as they travel to take on the Ohio Bobcats at 1 p.m. on Saturday. 

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