Ball State Women’s Basketball (6-8, 1-1 MAC) evened up its Mid-American Conference record at 1-1 on Wednesday afternoon with a 77-70 victory over Bowling Green (7-6, 0-2 MAC) at Worthen Arena.
Freshman forward Thelma Dis Agustdottir helped pave the way for the Cardinal offense, scoring 23 to help lead her team back from a double digit first quarter deficit.
“I think we did good after the first couple minutes, we just needed to get adjusted to their defense,” Dis Agustdottir said. “I think (my teammates) we’re just finding me in the open spots when I was calling for it and being aggressive.”
However, it would be the Cardinals’ fourth quarter defense that helped seal the game away, as the they forced late stops and turnovers, including a key Jasmin Samz charge with just over a minute left to preserve the lead.
“We took a little bit better care of the ball in the second half and I thought that was a big stat too,” head coach Brady Sallee said. “We can’t start like this. We have to learn from (the first quarter) and we will learn from this one but I’m happy with the win and happy the effort that it took to get it.”
Dis Agustdottir was highly efficient from the floor for the Cardinals all night, knocking down 8-10 attempted field goals and adding four more from the charity stripe.
When the forward from Keflavik, Iceland was shut down, Ball State often ran their offense down low through sophomore Oshlynn Brown, who scored 22 and grabbed 10 rebounds in the victory despite getting into early foul trouble.
“It’s super important (to have someone like Brown on the floor),” Dis Agustdottir said. “ I think she did a really good job when she came back in the second half. She was just being agressive and kicking it out when she didn’t have those open shots.”
The game had a 11 a.m. start time Wednesday so the Ball State athletic department could facilitate Field Trip Day at Worthen Arena. Over 1,500 kids from local area schools in Anderson and Muncie attended and often times made it quite loud for the visiting Falcons’ offense.
Junior forward Andrea Cecil led Bowling Green with 24 points and five assists while playing a game-high 37 minutes.
Ball State freshman Abi Haynes provided a spark for the home team off the bench, dishing out nine assists, all in the second half, and collecting four rebounds in 28 minutes of action.
“You’re seeing growth in everybody,” Sallee said. “Look at Abi Haynes game today. She had nine assists, that’s a big number right there. We needed her distributing the ball that way.”