Strong shooting lifts Ball State men's basketball over IU Kokomo
The clock read 0:01 at the end of the first half.
With Ball State men's basketball leading IU Kokomo by 14 points, head coach James Whitford substituted sophomore center Trey Moses into the game. Senior forward Franko House inbounded the ball to a cutting Moses at the top of the key.
Knowing he had to act quickly, Moses threw up an off-balance three as the buzzer sounded. He hadn't attempted a three all season.
Ball State game leaders
Points: Ryan Weber (24)
Field Goal percentage: Tahjai Teague 80 percent (8-10)
Rebounds: Trey Moses (12)
Assists: Tayler Persons (14)
Turnovers: Tahjai Teague Tayler Persons (3)
It was that kind of night for Ball State (4-3) in a 92-52 win over IU Kokomo (2-7).
"[Moses]'s got the best hands," Whitford said. "He's not supposed to get it at the 3-point line. I don't know if the pass was short or if he was hunting a three."
Everybody was hunting for threes Tuesday night. All nine Cardinals that saw action attempted a 3-pointer. Seven of them knocked one or more down.
With the team's best shooting night of the season thus far, the Cardinals shot 53 percent from the field.
Ball State's bread and butter was its ability to knock down the 3-point shot, shooting 44 percent and hitting 16 of 36 attempts, two short of the school record for most made 3-pointers in one game.
Junior guard Francis Kiapway led the way, hitting six 3-pointers after only hitting six of 27 through the first six games of the season.
"He's a great shooter," Whitford said. "Every shooter goes through [a slump] from time to time."
Senior forward Ryan Weber also found his rhythm. After recording a 41 percent field goal percentage through six games, Weber exploded for 24 points off the bench.
Weber said it felt good to see them go in for once.
"I couldn't miss forever, so I just had to keep playing," Weber said. "You just got to get in the gym and get more comfortable with your shot and find your confidence."
Whitford said he never worried about Kiapway and Weber finding their shots.
"Sometimes you go through stuff here or there," Whitford said. "That didn't bother me from the beginning."
In the prior three games, Ball State has averaged 16 turnovers but cut it to 10 against IU Kokomo.
Redshirt sophomore Tayler Persons had 22 turnovers through six games, but he only turned the ball over three times against the Cougars.
"Turnovers have been a big part of why we've struggled on offense, and I felt like we took care of the ball," Persons said.
A huge part of the Cardinals' high shooting percentage came from the 14 assists by Persons.
"I just want to be able to get my guys involved," Persons said.
Ball State got a big boost from its bench, which scored 54 points. Kiapway was the only starter to finish in double figures with 18 points.
The Cardinals will need their strong offense to continue when IUPUI comes to town. The Jaguars are averaging 89 points per game this season through six games. Tipoff is Dec. 3 at 2 p.m. in Worthen Arena.