It was a back-and-forth battle that required an extra five minutes of basketball to decide the winner, as Western Kentucky made the final run in overtime to push ahead for the victory over Ball State Women’s Basketball. Here are four takeaways from the Cardinals’ 91-86 loss to the Lady Toppers.

Dee Givens was unstoppable

Western Kentucky forward Dee Givens came into the contest averaging third-best in points for the Lady Toppers with 15.3 a game. She turned it up a notch against the Cardinals and was able to get buckets at will.  

Givens had a career night, as she dropped 41 points, which was a record amount by a woman at Worthen Arena. She had it going from all over the court and did it efficiently, shooting 50 percent from the field and making six 3-pointers. The Cardinals could never really find someone that could slow her down, and it ultimately gave the Lady Toppers the advantage. 

Oshlynn Brown puts up season highs

Junior forward Oshlynn Brown didn’t back down, and she answered the Lady Toppers' attack in the second half, putting up season high numbers in points with 22 and rebounds with 14. 

Brown pounded the ball inside and was getting what she wanted at the rim, which showed in the stat book, as she made 8-of-12 attempts. She also got to the free-throw line frequently and cashed in on 6-of-10 shots. 

However, no bucket was more important than her layup with about 18 seconds left that tied the ballgame at 75, giving the Cardinals a chance in the bonus period. 

Ball State junior forward Oshlynn Brown calls a play while being guarded by Western Kentucky junior guard Sherry Porter during the Cardinals' game against the Hilltoppers Dec. 7, 2019, at John E. Worthen Arena. Brown was Ball State's leading scorer with 22 points. Paige Grider, DN 

Team effort leads Cardinal offense

Ball State has leaned on a balanced attack offensively throughout the early season, and that continued against Western Kentucky. The Cardinals received scoring from all but one player who got minutes, as 10 Cardinals found themselves in the scoring column. Four of them were able to reach the double-digit mark. 

The Cardinals' roster has showed its scoring can come from almost anywhere at each given game. Its distribution of points can make it harder for other teams to key in on one person, as others have shown they can step up. 

Hot start

The first half served the Cardinals well, as they were on a roll from the tipoff. Sophomore forward Blake Smith was active in the first quarter, leading Ball State with eight of her total 10 points in just that frame alone. 

As a team, the Cardinals shot 57.6 percent from the field, which was enough to give them a 43-38 lead heading into the break. 

Ball State relied on its inside presence to do the scoring, as it only attempted five 3-point shots and made one. The Cardinals finished the contest scoring 60 of their 86 points in the paint. 

Contact Daric Clemens with comments at diclemens@bsu.edu or on Twitter @DaricClemens