Ball State Men’s Basketball and Central Michigan are now sitting at 11-8 and 4-2 in the Mid-American Conference after the Cardinals fell short in a close one, 71-66.
The first half is what got Ball State in trouble, as it was down, 33-27, at intermission. The Cardinals won the second half, 39-38, in a back-and-forth half of play.
Here are three takeaways from the Cardinals' loss:
Turnovers mean fewer shots
Ball State committed 28 turnovers Saturday night, allowing 33 points off of those giveaways, and it proved to be the difference. Part of the reason the game ended in a close result was the Cardinals were able to score 22 points off of 16 Central Michigan turnovers.
All of these turnovers affected the amount of shots Ball State was able to put up. The Cardinals shot at a higher percentage at 44.9 percent while the Chippewas made 39.7 percent of their shots. The issue was the volume of shots Ball State put up, as Central Michigan still made more of them.
Central Michigan went 25-for-63 in the game while the Cardinals shot 22-for-49. The Chippewas ended up shooting 14 more shots, and that was in large part because of the turnovers by Ball State.
First-half struggles haunt Cardinals
The Cardinals committed 17 of their 28 turnovers in the first half alone, which prevented them from taking advantage of Central Michigan's misses.
Ball State struggled to make baskets in the first half, shooting just 8-for-22 from the field. The Chippewas did not do well for themselves in the first half either, shooting just 10-for-31 and getting nine more attempts than Ball State, but those two makes made the difference.
Three-point shooting was another area that took until the second half to get going. The Cardinals went 1-for-9 in the first half while Central Michigan went 3-for-12. Ball State appeared to start off strong, as its first shot attempt was a made three by junior guard Ishmael El-Amin, but the Cardinals could not find their rhythm as the half progressed.
Tahjai Teague controlled the paint
While Ball State struggled to get it going from deep, it outperformed Central Michigan by scoring 34 points in the paint while the Chippewas scored 26. Redshirt senior forward Tahjai Teague was largely responsible, as he was the leading Cardinal scorer with 17 points.
Teague also controlled the boards with a career-high 18 rebounds, allowing the Cardinals to outrebound Central Michigan, 42-31. Defensively, Teague also recorded five blocks on the night.