The shots had to fall sometime.
Ball State University coach Billy Taylor knew Division I basketball teams don't just go cold for the whole year. University of Toledo coach Gene Cross realized the Cardinals were better shooters than they showed during their three-game losing streak. He just hoped they wouldn't come alive until after his Rockets were safely out of Muncie.
"We knew at some point they were going to start shooting the ball better," Cross said. "We just didn't want it to be against us."
Robert Scaife, the father of Cardinals' freshman guard Jauwan Scaife, told his son to keep shooting despite his 1-for-16 showing on three point shots heading into the Toledo game.
"Shooters keep on shooting," Jauwan said. "That's what coach always says and what my father always says."
So that's what Scaife and the Cardinals did.
Scaife led Ball State's 3-point barrage, making six of his eight attempts. As a team, the Cardinals shot 8-for-13 from beyond the arc with guards Brawley Chisholm and Randy Davis each making one.
"You just have to have confidence, and that's what I brought today," Scaife said.
The six 3-pointers were the most for a Ball State player in four years.
Through Thursday's games, the Cardinals ranked last in Division I in 3-pointers made per game. With that in mind, Cross said his game plan was to take away center Jarrod Jones, who leads the team in scoring. The Rockets limited the sophomore to six points, but enabled Ball State's shooters to get open looks.
"We wanted to take Jarrod Jones out of the game," Cross said. "On the pass out [of the post] we have to close out and challenge the shooter, and we didn't do that very well at all."
Chisholm said he saw more open looks in the first half when he score all nine of his points. In the second half, Toledo began to pressure him, allowing Chisholm to find open teammates.
"In the second half [Larry Bastfield] started pressuring the ball more" Chisholm said. "But Jauwan heated up.
Cross was disappointed with his team's defensive effort and the amount of open looks Ball State had.
"They came out and shot very well," Cross said. "We didn't challenge them time after time after time."