The men's basketball game against Buffalo Wednesday featured an abundance of strong performances.
Among these efforts were Theron Smith's with a double-double, Billy Lynch's first starting job of the season and Chris Williams, who tied a school single-season record for 3-pointers.
According to head coach Tim Buckley, these achievements were not as much a part of the game plan as Lonnie Jones' play.
Ball State seemed to challenge Buffalo's post defense by feeding the post men throughout the contest. Jones, along with Smith, helped Buckley's plan come to fruition.
"Lonnie had a good game against Buffalo last year," Buckley said. "We felt like we could run our offense a little bit through him and Theron in the post.
"Our guys did a terrific job of going inside and looking for those guys," he said. "Lonnie did a good job of scoring around the basket."
Jones said he was trying to take the advice of Buckley by going out with his guns blazing.
"Coach has always told me to come out and play aggressively," Jones said. "When I play aggressively, I kind of get going on offense and lately my confidence has been kind of high. I just went out there and tried to do whatever I could."
Jones has recorded multiple blocks in his last nine games, with at least four blocks in six games.
The 7-footer's 15 points against Buffalo ties a season high and the seven blocks against the Bulls tied a career high.
"(Jones is) long and has great timing," Buckley said. "I thought he did a nice job rotating tonight as a help defender. Most of his blocks came from the weak side."
"I've just been trying to be in the right position at the right place at the right time and just being more active," Jones said. "When I play more actively, I'm quicker to the ball."
Although Smith has stepped back into his normal role as leading rebounder and scorer of the team, Jones will continue to provide an intimidating defense with his ability to block shots. The team will rely, in part, on his defensive presence as Ball State looks for a Mid-American Conference title.
"We just really have to go out and play as hard as we can," Jones said. "We, as a team, have to try to lock down on defense. That really gets us going on offense when we play good defense."