RECAP: Ball State men's basketball vs. Bowling Green
In the second matchup in 15 days between Ball State men’s basketball (12-7, 3-3 MAC) and Bowling Green (8-11, 2-4 MAC), the Falcons snapped the Cardinals three-game win streak by a score of 79-74 Jan. 21.
Ball State stats:
Field goal percentage: 39.3
Leading scorer: Tayler Persons - 16
Bowling Green stats:
Field goal percentage: 41.0
Leading scorer: Zack Denny - 17
“We came out and played the right way,” head coach James Whitford said. “That doesn’t mean we didn’t play well, Franko had one of his worse games in a Ball State uniform.”
Through one half of play, senior forward Franko House did not have any points and had only one rebound. House finished the game with three points and a rebound after fouling out in the second half.
Bowling Green had an 11-point run in the first half and took a 44-34 lead into halftime.
Bowling Green head coach Michael Huger focused on slowing the Cardinals' 3-point shooting and offensive rebounding.
“Our goal was to make sure Ball State didn’t get quality threes and slow down their offensive rebounding,” Huger said. “Their shooting almost brought them back and won this game for them.”
In the second half, Ball State cut Bowling Green's lead to one on multiple occasions, but could not recapture the lead they had at the 14-minute mark of the first half.
With nine seconds left and a 77-74 Bowling Green lead, Ball State forced a Falcon turnover on the inbounds pass to give the Cardinals a chance to tie the game up with a 3-ball.
On the Cardinals' ensuing inbounds possession, Bowling Green forced sophomore guard Tayler Persons to throw an errant pass to junior forward Sean Sellers, and Bowling Green's Ismail Ali laid in the dagger to give the Falcons the 79-74 victory.
“I just tell our guys to hang in there,” Whitford said. “We aren’t the same team we were two weeks ago and that is no different today. We didn’t win, I thought we competed our tail off.”
In his sixth game against Ball State, Bowling Green senior guard Zack Denny scored five points more than his average to lead his team in scoring at 17.
Whitford does not want to see Denny in the future.
“He is good player,” Whitford said. “I don’t know how to slow him down.”
Ball State is on the road again Jan. 24 when they take on the Mid-American Conference West Division leaders in Eastern Michigan.