After a thrilling victory in Worthen Arena Sunday against Cleveland State, Ball State (1-1, 0-0 MAC) journeys to Missouri State (0-2, 0-0 MVC) for a matchup against the Bears this weekend.

“Their confidence level definitely took a step forward after Cleveland State,” head coach Brady Sallee said. “It’s always easier to learn coming off of a win, but there’s still plenty of things that we have to get better at, and they understand that part of it too.”

While the Bears enter the weekend at 0-2, they are in good company with their roster. Alexa Willard is their go-to scorer, racking up 20-point games in both exhibition matches and their first regular season game against Wichita State last weekend. In their four-point loss to No. 16 Missouri, Danielle Gitzen led the way with 16 points while adding three rebounds. 

“Missouri State is well-coached, and they play really hard,” Sallee said. “They’ve got some dynamic scorers and effective posts, and playing on the road against this team will be something new to us.”

The two teams have only met once prior to Saturday’s game, which was last season when the Cardinals came out victorious in Worthen Arena, 70-58. 

In Ball State’s contest against the Vikings Sunday, sophomore Oshlynn Brown proved to be a power player alongside junior Jasmin Samz. Brown registered 10 points and led the team in rebounds with nine. She also led the team in rebounds in last season’s game against the Bears, tallying nine and adding five points.

“I feel like this team just has a really great bond,” Brown said. “That’s what you need to have – a team that meshes well and can play together. It really helps us to know our individual roles as well.”

As last year’s first body off the bench, Brown rounded off her freshman season with 269 points and led the team in rebounds with 242. She said the transition of her role from sixth man to starter and vocal leader, while still being an underclassman, has been an adjustment period.

“It’s very different from my role last year, but I think it’s been good,” Brown said. “It’s been a lot of teaching the freshmen and communicating by being more vocal.”

Saturday’s game will begin at 3 p.m. in the JQH Arena in Springfield, Missouri.

Contact Gabi Glass with comments at grglass@bsu.edu or on Twitter @gabiglassbsu.