The game of basketball, specifically Ball State Men’s Basketball’s loss to Bowling Green, is and was a game of runs.
One moment, Ball State seemed to have the game controlled, which would immediately be followed by a Falcons 32-11 and 20-7 run to ultimately win, 67-61.
The Cardinals were led by redshirt senior forward Tahjai Teague, who had 18 points and 11 rebounds for his eighth double-double of the season. Junior guard Ishmael El-Amin had 17 points on the night. It wasn’t enough to stop Bowling Green, who had two 20-point scorers.
Here are three takeaways from the Cardinals’ loss:
Bench play needs to improve
Ball State’s bench was outscored 34-9 in the loss, largely due to Bowling Green’s Trey Diggs scoring a game-high 25 points.
The Cardinals’ highest scorer off the bench was redshirt junior forward Brachen Hazen, scoring just five points. The only other reserve to score was redshirt freshman Kani Acree with four.
In all but one loss this season, the Cardinals were outscored by the opposing team’s reserves.
3-point shooting struggled
Ball State shot just 18.5 percent from deep and 34.8 percent from the field. This marks the second consecutive game Ball State has shot below 30 percent from beyond the arc.
The Cardinals were led in the 3-point department by Teague, hitting three of his five attempts, and Ball State’s top three shooters combined for just two threes on the night.
Bowling Green, on the other hand, shot 36.4 percent from three, making it tough on the Cardinals to break open a large run late in the game.
The dynamic duo of Teague and El-Amin lead the way
The Cardinals’ two leading scorers on the season, El-Amin and Teague, combined for 35 of Ball State’s 61 points on the evening, making more than 50 percent of the team’s buckets. They also combined to hit four of the team’s five threes.
Ball State heads back to Worthen Arena Saturday to take on Ohio.