It was a rough night offensively for Ball State Women's Basketball (1-2, 0-0 MAC) as it shot 33 percent from the field, 11 percent from three, and went five for 17 in free throws against Missouri State (1-2, 0-0 MVC) in a 74-54 loss. 

“They hit us in the mouth with toughness from the start,” head coach Brady Sallee said. “But we came out in that second half and continued to fight. They forced us to step it up, and we did. It was just a matter of getting shots to fall.”

Despite the struggles at the basket, the Cardinals continued to battle throughout, cutting leads at various times throughout the game and fighting through the missed shots; unfortunately, it wasn’t enough to stop the Bears’ offense.

Junior Aliyah Walker displayed a strong first quarter performance, grabbing two points and three offensive rebounds in one possession, followed by a charge taken at the other end of the court. But the Bears came out strong as well going eight for 18 from the field and registering eight rebounds between freshmen Sydney Manning and Jasmine Franklin. 

“Not a whole lot went wrong other than we just couldn’t make the shots,” Sallee said. “But we got good looks, and I’m confident the shots will come.” 

The continued struggle from the field saw the Cardinals down by 11 early in the second quarter. While they were able to manage 11 rebounds in the first quarter, the Cardinals were unable to match the Bears’ 29 in the the first two quarter of the game. But it was the missed shots that would decide the first half. The Cardinals were 0-10 behind the three-point line and shot only 24 percent across the floor.

It was a 17-point lead for the Bears in the third quarter, the Cardinals quickly falling behind with a score of 42-25. Manning continued to be a go-to player for the Bears, going 4-4 from the three-point line.

The Cardinals were able to cut the deficit back to 11 after a three from freshman Abi Haynes and two points from sophomore Oshlynn Brown, putting the score at 44-33. Senior guard Danielle Gitzen tallied eight in the late minutes of the third for the Bears, and the quarter ended at a score of 54-33, the Cardinals fighting to stay in the game. 

The game ended in a Bears victory at 74-54. Led by Gitzen and sophomore Emily Garter, who each tallied 13, the Bears were 29-63 from the field and hit 81 percent at the free throw line.  

“We have to have more players grabbing the boards,” Sallee said. “We can’t solely rely on Osh, we need everybody fighting for the ball when it goes up.”

Brown led the Cardinals in points with 14 and rebounds with eight, while freshman Anna Clephane added 11 points to the board and senior Jasmin Samz recorded 10. 

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