WOMEN'S BASKETBALL: Mental and physical miscues cost Cardinals game

Team struggled to stay committed to fundamentals in overtime

It appeared as if the game was secured when Ball State led Butler by 14 points with 10:36 remaining in the game. What could have been its fifth win of the season, resulted in a terrifying nightmare for Ball State.

A combination of miscues, both mental and physical, cost Ball State a win. Coach Kelly Packard said it's extremely challenging to simulate the kinds of situations her team faced during the game, in practice.

"The toughest thing to train is poise under pressure, because that's a technical thing, but it's such a mental thing," Packard said. "If you don't get it right, it costs you the game."

Packard said fatigue, endurance and mental mistakes affected both teams.

The Cardinals turned the ball over a combined 10 times in both overtime periods. Packard said the constant pressure from Butler decided the outcome of the game.

Packard said her team was scrambling in the second half and over time, but the loss of senior captain Emily Maggert affected her team mightily.

"We're scrambling," Packard said. "They had lost key players. We lost Emily at one point. At that point you're just trying to stay committed to some fundamentals defensively, and scramble when you make a mistake to try and cover it up. Offensively, certainly when Emily went out, it was a struggle for us to know exactly where to put the ball."

Maggert was 12-of-12 at the free throw line before missing her next two with 11 seconds remaining in the game. Packard said it's all about the mental poise when the game is on the line.

"The game is on the line for you," Packard said. "She didn't do anything different. It's the mental poise. You have to go there and be in those situations. She's who I want at the free throw line in that situation.


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