MEN'S BASKETBALL: Ball State falls to Eastern Michigan in last second
Eagles hit three-pointer with 1.5 seconds left to steal win
With the game tied at 48-48 and under 20 seconds remaining, Eastern Michigan's Antoine Green dribbled slowly at the top of the arc and drained a three-pointer right over Ball State guard Randy Davis.
The shot left only 1.5 seconds on the clock, just enough time for one final desperation attempt for Ball State. The Cardinals couldn't convert, losing its first Mid-American Conference game of the season 51-48 in Worthen Arena.
Coach Billy Taylor said being in the bonus with seconds left put Davis in a tough position. Picking up a cheap foul and sending the Eagles to the line is not something he wanted to happen, so Davis was forced to play off Green a little bit.
"He stepped up and hit a big shot for his team," Davis said. "If I could go back I would have got closer and contested the three."
Ball State (10-5, 2-1 MAC) had its own opportunity to take the lead prior to Green's three-point basket on an out-of-bounds play with 24 seconds left and two seconds on the shot clock.
The inbounds pass went straight to a soaring Jarrod Jones for an alley-oop dunk but Jones jumped too early and was unable to finish. The Eagles pulled down the rebound and eventually drove down the court for the game-winner.
"I thought I was high enough," Jones said. "If I could go back I'd probably tip it in."
Both teams struggled for offense the entire game.
Neither team was able to find an offensive rhythm throughout the game. The Eagles 2-3 zone caused problems for the Cardinals from the tip not allowing Ball State to score until six minutes into the game.
Ball State couldn't penetrate any part of the Eastern Michigan zone. Several possessions at the beginning of the game ended with a contested shot at the end of the shot clock.
Coming off a season-high 10 three-pointers in its last game against Toledo, Ball State shot a meager 3-for-16 on Saturday.
The numbers from the field and the free-throw line told the same story. Ball State shot 14-for-42 for the game and hit 17 of 27 free throws.
"Those two areas right there – that's a lot of points," Taylor said. "We had some paint touches but not really enough to get good shots against a zone. You have to have good offensive timing and we didn't always have that."
Eastern Michigan shot 47.5 percent from the floor and 5-for-9 from three-point range while shooting 57 percent in the second half.
Before Saturday's loss, the Cardinals had won seven in a row at home and 11 straight dating back to last season.
Jones collected his fifth double-double on the season scoring 11 points and 11 rebounds. Davis matched Jones with 11 points.
Eastern Michigan was led by Quintin Daily with 13 points and Green finished with 11 points. Darrell Lampley, the Eagles' leading scorer on the season, left the game early due to a pulled groin and never returned. He finished with just four points.
"We have no choice but to bounce back," Taylor said. "As much as this stings and hurts, we have to make corrections especially on the defensive end of the floor."