4 takeaways from Ball State Women’s Basketball’s 6th consecutive win

<p>Ball State freshman guard Estel Puiggros shoots a three during the Cardinals' game against Butler Saturday, Nov. 23, 2019, at John E. Worthen Arena. Puiggros scored 10 points. <strong>Paige Grider, DN</strong></p>

Ball State freshman guard Estel Puiggros shoots a three during the Cardinals' game against Butler Saturday, Nov. 23, 2019, at John E. Worthen Arena. Puiggros scored 10 points. Paige Grider, DN

Beginning in Albuquerque, New Mexico, Ball State Women’s Basketball has turned the 3-0 trip at the Lobo Christmas Classic into a six-game win streak and an undefeated start in conference play.

On Wednesday night, Ball State traveled to take on Bowling Green in midweek action. The game saw plenty of highs and lows for both teams, but it was the Cardinals who were able to connect on the shots when it mattered. Here are four takeaways from Wednesday night's victory over the Falcons.

The cardiac Cardinals

Ball State has had eight games this season that have been decided by 10 points or fewer. In those games, the Cardinals are 6-2. Wednesday’s action featured the second overtime game Ball State has seen this season. In its all-time series with Bowling Green, games have gone to extra periods just three times, including the 1998-99 season matchup that featured four overtime periods. 

In the extra five minutes against Bowling Green, Ball State outscored the Falcons, 10-4, to make it its sixth consecutive victory. Holding Bowling Green to just 1-of-6 from the field, Ball State was able to secure its first overtime victory of the season. The Cardinals are now 1-1 in overtime this season, and this victory was their first overtime victory since defeating Detroit Mercy in extra periods in 2013. 

Brown’s efficient scoring

After going 0-for-5 from the field in the first quarter, it appeared junior forward Oshlynn Brown was going to have to contribute in a different way for the Cardinals. When the second quarter began, Brown started to pick up points quickly for Ball State. Her first bucket came at the 8:36 mark in the second quarter, and she didn’t look back from there. Brown led the team in field goals, connecting on 11-of-23 attempts, which set the pace for the team to connect on 51.6 percent of its attempts from the field. Brown ended the night with a career-high 29 points.

Brown reached double figures by halftime. Scoring 11 points in the second quarter was a big factor as to why Ball State had a six-point advantage at the break. Brown contributed 18 of the teams 47 points in the second half and overtime. The forward also connected on two free throws in the final 15 seconds of overtime to extend the Cardinals' lead to a two-possession advantage.

In addition to her scoring performance, Brown led the team with eight rebounds. The forward led the team in multiple categories on the night. She led the way in field goals made and attempted, free throws, rebounds, steals and points. Collecting all of her rebounds defensively, Brown was able to turn her eight defensive boards back into points on the other end. 

Ball State junior forward Oshlynn Brown shoots during the Cardinals' game against Butler Saturday, Nov. 23, 2019, at John E. Worthen Arena. Brown scored 10 points. Paige Grider, DN

Veteran leadership paired with young talent 

During Wednesday night’s matchup, graduate student guard Jasmin Samz recorded eight new season highs. She had a new high in scoring with 19 points, minutes with 35, field goals made with six, 3-pointers made and attempted, as she went 3-for-7 in the game. She also hit career highs in free throw attempts with six, rebounds with six and steals with two. This veteran leadership and hustle allowed the younger players to get into the stat sheet as well. 

Freshman guard Sydney Freeman recorded her fifth game this season in which she put up double figures. The 13 points from Freeman was accomplished by shooting 5-of-10 from the field and only turning the ball over twice. Her five made field goals were a new personal season high.

Not only did sophomore forward Thelma Dis Agustsdottir put up 13 points, but she also set a new season high for assists in a game. Her seven assists were a contributing factor as to why the Cardinals were able to put four different players in double figures. 

3-point line served key 

Wednesday’s conference tilt featured just the third time Ball State has made 10 3-point field goals in a game. Samz, Agustsdottir and Freeman each connected on three triples for the cardinal and white. Senior guard Arbrie Benson also contributed with one three of her own. 

This was the first time the Cardinals have allowed 10 or more threes by an opponent in a game this season. Bowling Green was not a team to shy away from the 3-point arc, as the Falcons attempted 33 triples, connecting on 12 of them. 

The 3-point shot was the factor as to why Bowling Green was able to hang in with Ball State. Junior guard Mari Hill knocked down her second three of the contest to pull the Falcons back within one point with just 31 ticks left in regulation. The Cardinals were able to defend the 3-point arc well in overtime, as the Falcons connected on just one. After that, Ball State went on a 5-0 run to seal the deal. 

Contact Grant Covey with comments at gacovey@bsu.edu or on Twitter @grant_covey.

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