Ryan Weber's offensive leads Ball State men's basketball past Western Michigan

<p>Redshirt junior Ryan Weber defending during Ball State men's basketball game against Toledo University on Jan. 6 at Worthen Arena. <em>DN PHOTO BY BREANNA DAUGHERTY</em></p>

Redshirt junior Ryan Weber defending during Ball State men's basketball game against Toledo University on Jan. 6 at Worthen Arena. DN PHOTO BY BREANNA DAUGHERTY

Ryan Weber Game Statistics

Field goals: 10-12

Three-pointers: 4-4

Free throws: 2-3

Rebounds: 4

Assists: 3

Minutes: 29

It took redshirt junior guard Ryan Weber nearly 30 game minutes to miss a shot Jan. 12 in Ball State men's basketball 74-64 victory over Western Michigan. 

Weber started the game 9-9 from the field, which included four 3-point shots. It took until there was 10:59 remaining on the clock in the second half for him to miss a lay-up. He finished his career night shooting 10-12 from the field with four rebounds, three assists and a block in his 29 total minutes of play. 

Head coach James Whitford said Weber’s offensive showing was “incredible,” but he said the defense is what won the game for his Cardinals.

Whitford feels that Weber has improved with being more unpredictable on the offensive side of the ball, more notably in off-the-ball situations.

“My focus for [Weber] is to try and be a great all-around player, somebody that can beat you in more ways than just scoring the ball,” Whitford said.

The victory gave Ball State its 11th win of the season and second Mid-American Conference victory. Currently, the team sits second in the MAC West Division. 

Weber has proven to be consistent all season long from the starting small forward position. 

The 6-foot-6 wing has started in all 14 games he has played in while averaging 13.1 points per game on .509 field goal percentage and a .465 three-point percentage.

His averages have only improved since the Cardinals have begun MAC play. 

In the three MAC contests thus far, Weber is scoring 19.3 points per game while making 52.9 percent of his 3-point attempts. 

This was a big turn-around for Weber after he shot 3-10 from the field and 1-6 from long-range during the Cardinals' game on the road against Ohio on Jan. 9.

“I had a long film session with him after the Ohio University game because his shots didn’t fall in that game — my challenge for [Weber] is, ‘What other ways can you contribute to winning when your shots don’t fall?’” Whitford said.

Ball State (11-5, 2-1 MAC) hosts Miami (6-10, 0-3 MAC) on Jan. 16. The Redhawks are a team that features a “unique style of defense,” as Whitford puts it.

“One of the big keys is going to be taking care of the ball,” Whitford said. “A lot of traps, a lot of double teams, a lot of switching — they do a very good job at turning you over.”

Miami is in the top 100 teams in the nation for steals at the No. 89 slot. Redshirt senior Eric Washington, who is averaging 1.5 steals per game, is leading the team.

Tip-off between the Cardinals and RedHawks is set for 2 p.m. Jan. 16 at Worthen Arena. 


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