If history tells Ball State fans anything, Tayler Persons is going to take the last shot when the game is on the line. He hit game-winning threes against Notre Dame, Valparaiso and Bowling Green last season.
As the clock ran out against the Falcons (12-5, 4-0 MAC) Tuesday, the redshirt senior drilled another game-ending 3-pointer. This time, however, he walked away with his head hung low as the Cardinals (10-7, 1-3 MAC) still fell, 79-78.
Here are a few aspects of the game that stood out.
Money from the line
Ball State came into Bowling Green shooting 71 percent from the free-throw line on the season but only 56 percent over its last two games. The Cardinals got back on track Tuesday, making 19 of 25 (76 percent) from the charity stripe.
The Falcons entered play 325th in the nation in free-throw percentage, 169 spots behind the Cardinals. Bowling Green uncharacteristically shot 24 percent better at the line than its season average, going 29 for 33. The Falcons’ near-perfect night at the line proved to be the difference in a game where missed free throws were hard to come by.
Playing with four fouls
Redshirt junior forward Tahjai Teague picked up his fourth personal foul of the contest with 17 minutes remaining. Head coach James Whitford immediately took him out of the game. Teague came back in at the 12:25 mark and played for the majority of the remainder of the game before fouling out with 1:16 to go.
In his time on the court with four fouls, not only did Teague refrain from fouling, but he also contributed on offense. Teague scored seven points in the final 10 minutes and finished the game with 19.
Too much Turner
Bowling Green’s Justin Turner was coming off a 30-point performance at Central Michigan, and he continued his hot shooting against Ball State. Turner made his first four shots, scoring nine points in the first five minutes. He ended the night with 20 points, the fourth straight game he has scored at least 20 and the 11th time this season.
Big man on the boards
Senior center Trey Moses hasn’t scored much the last two games, recording a total of five points in that span. What he has done is crash the boards. Moses is Ball State’s second-leading rebounder, averaging 6.8 per game. He pulled down 13 rebounds in the Cardinals’ loss to Ohio and eight on Tuesday. Moses’ work on the glass is especially key with redshirt sophomore Brachen Hazen sidelined with a back injury.