Graphic by Emily Wright,DN
Ohio wins 7th straight in victory over Ball State Women’s Basketball
An Ohio record was broken, just shy of an NCAA record, in Saturday’s matchup between the Bobcats (17-2, 6-2 MAC) and Cardinals (7-13, 2-6 MAC).
Amani Burke proved to be too much to handle for Ball State. Burke, sister of NBA guard Trey Burke, drained 11 of her 14 attempts from three throughout the course of the game. She surpassed her career-high of 24 points with 33, which she achieved in the Bobcats’ last meeting with the Cardinals in early January.
“You really have to give Ohio credit,” head coach Brady Sallee said. “They had it clicking on all cylinders, and we just had a lot of trouble guarding them inside and out.”
It didn’t take the Bobcats long to gain momentum, grabbing a 20-9 lead midway through the first quarter. Cece Hooks posted six points to add to the Bobcats’ 28 heading into the second quarter.
Things continued to look bleak for the Cardinals into the second. With double-digit turnovers and a technical foul called on Sallee, the Bobcats had a number of opportunities to widen the gap, reaching a 23-point lead with two minutes left in the half. Sophomore Maliah Howard-Bass nailed a three before the end of the half, but the Bobcat lead remained daunting at 48-29.
Another culprit of the series of unfortunate events for the Cardinals were turnovers. Where the Cardinals racked up 16 turnovers heading into halftime, the Bobcats had managed to limit their own to just four.
Sophomore Oshlynn Brown, usually a key performer for the Cardinals, registered only four points in the first half courtesy of a constant Bobcat double team.
“The way they guarded [Brown] had a ton to do with the outcome,” Sallee said. “Without her, the production is hard for us. Again, you have to give them credit. They did a great job taking her out of the equation.”
Leading by a score of 83-48 entering the fourth quarter, the Bobcats seemed to have no intention of letting up. Between the Bobcats’ outside shots and the high volume of Cardinal turnovers, the Bobcats came out on top, 94-62.
Leading for the Cardinals was freshman Thelma Dis Agustsdóttir with 12 points. The Cardinals ended the day with 25 turnovers.
“It’s one game,” Sallee said. “The next one will be just as tough, and we have to get motivated and keep moving.”