Three-point FG (Ball State – 5-16 ) (Evansville – 12-35)
Rebounds (Ball State – 34) (Evansville – 46)
Turnovers (Ball State – 14) (Evansville – 17)
Ball State leaders ——
Shelbie Justice – 14 points
Brandy Woody – 10 rebounds
Brandy Woody – 6 assists
In a losing effort to University of Evansville, the Ball State women’s basketball team fell to 0-3 on the 2013 season.
The team’s five freshmen haven’t seen early-season losses like Wednesday’s 69–80 defeat to Evansville pile up. Ball State’s veterans though, they know the feeling all too well.
Last season the Cardinals opened their schedule with three consecutive losses before winning a home game against IPFW.
Ball State finished its non-conference schedule with a 3-10 record before surging through Mid-American Conference play to finish the season 16-14. After last week’s loss to University of Pittsburgh, head coach Brady Sallee said the focus would remain on the big picture.
One loss didn’t matter. But now, after the string of losses, Ball State’s second-year head coach is stressing the importance of putting more effort into practices.
The Cardinals committed 28 and 24 turnovers in their first two losses. In Wednesday’s loss it was just 13. A smaller number of turnovers was offset by poor shooting, and for the first time this season, being out-rebounded by an opponent.
After one half, the Aces led the Cardinals by nine points. Evansville had managed to connect on 31.6 percent of its three-point attempts and also nine of its 13 free throw attempts.
Ball State, on the other hand, found itself again struggling to hit shots. After one half Ball State was shooting 37.9 percent from the floor, and was just 1-for-6 from behind the arc.
A run early in the second half put Evansville up by 19 points with 13:06 remaining in the game. The Aces’ consistency in three-point shooting continued to hurt the Cardinals during the run.
Eventually they started to slow down, and Ball State was able to put a run of its own together. The Cardinals fought back behind key scoring from junior guard Brittany Carter, who finished the game with seven points — her lowest total of the season.
Junior Shelbie Justice finished the game 5-for-8 from the floor with a pair of three-point field goals. She also tallied three assists and two rebounds.
Ball State finished the game with 34 rebounds while Evansville pulled in 46.
Though the Cardinals had closed the gap to as little as seven at one point, the Aces continued to exchange scores with the visitors and eventually secured the 11-point victory.
Ball State returns to action Saturday in a road game against Detroit Mercy.