RECAP: Ball State men's basketball vs. Western Michigan
In a matchup between the first and second place teams in the Mid-American Conference West Division, Ball State men’s basketball (18-11, 9-7 MAC) fell to Western Michigan (13-15, 9-7 MAC) 80-55 on Saturday.
"They were clearly ready for a big game," head coach James Whitford said. "We didn't answer the bell."
The Broncos went on a 12-0 run to extend a 19-10 lead with under 10 minutes left in the first half and never looked back.
1. Akron, 13-3
2. Ohio, 10-6
3. Kent State, 9-7
4. Buffalo, 9-7
5. Bowling Green State, 7-9
6. Miami, 3-13
1. Ball State, 9-7
2. Western Michigan, 9-7
3. Toledo, 8-8
4. Northern Illinois, 7-9
5. Central Michigan, 6-10
6. Eastern Michigan, 6-10
At halftime, Western Michigan had a 38-27 lead and shot 44.8 percent from the field and 55.6 percent from beyond the arc.
With 13:42 left in the second half, Western Michigan senior guard Tucker Haymond drained a 3-ball in transition to stretch out a 51-38 lead. The Broncos hot shooting didn't end there.
Nearly five minutes after Haymond’s 3-pointer, freshman guard Reggie Jones stepped back and hit a contested 3-ball to extend a 62-41 Western Michigan lead with 8:17 left to play in the game.
The Broncos would go on to hit 57 percent of their shots from beyond the arc, while Ball State shot just 30 percent from 3-point land.
Besides Western Michigan’s hot shooting, the team also out-rebounded Ball State 40-25 and added 16 second-chance points.
In the two games against Western Michigan, the Cardinals have not had an answer for Haymond. The first time these two teams met, he scored a team-high 21 points and matched that number in today's win.
Whitford said he did not have an answer for Haymond's play during the game.
"I will have to watch the film and decide after watching the film," Whitford said.
Foul trouble hampered the Cardinals as sophomore guard Tayler Persons fouled out of the game with 4:52 left to play. Persons finished with 15 points on 7-12 shooting.
Ball State was led by Persons and senior forward Franko House, who finished with 13 points and three rebounds.
The Cardinals remain on the road as they travel to Toledo at 7 p.m. Tuesday for the last regular season road game.