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
Ball State shows resilience in overtime win against Bowling Green
Ball State Women’s Basketball (10-4, 2-0 MAC) had a chance to extend two streaks and they took full advantage of the opportunity as they knocked off Bowling Green (7-7, 0-2 MAC), 86-80.
Coming into the contest, the Cardinals had yet to lose to the Falcons in their last nine meetings and a strong offensive effort helped Ball State stay undefeated against Bowling Green in their last 10 matchups. The win also pushed the Cardinals overall winning streak in this recent stretch to six games straight.
It was a hard-fought game all the way through the contest. Both teams were fighting back-and-forth and neither team could really build a lead throughout. Ball State held the largest lead in the third quarter, being up seven points but Bowling Green answered with a run of their own and took the lead away from the Cardinals and it was a nail-biter from thereon.
In the fourth quarter the Falcons held a 70-69 edge over the Cardinals with about a minute left and then guard Jasmin Samz knocked down an important 3-pointer to give Ball State the lead as they held it with 50 seconds left. The Cardinals came up with a stop and junior forward Oshlynn Brown scored a layup to extend the lead to 74-70.
However, the Falcons would not go away as junior guard Mari Hill splashed in a 3-point bucket to cut the lead to just one with 31 seconds left. Samz connected on two free throws to make the push the Cardinals lead to 76-73. But Bowling Green’s junior guard Madisen Parker responded with an and-one which made the score even at the end of regulation. Parker was causing trouble for the Cardinals as she had 23 points.
“Just a gutsy win, I mean that’s a good basketball team and just so good offensively,” head coach Brady Sallee said. “Just to gut one out like that and be that tough, it’s a really special win.”
The matchup needed five more minutes to crown Ball State the winners. The Cardinals were able to contain the Bowling Green offense in the overtime period holding them to just four points on 1-of-6 shooting.
“We just kind of got juiced up in there, we kind of slugged through about the first minute and then we started clicking,” Sallee said. “Oshlynn got a big and-one and she made her free throws down the stretch and Jasmin got a huge steal and that’s what it takes to win on the road sometimes.”
Brown was dominating throughout the contest as she racked in a career-high in points as she scored 29 but none were more important than her five points in overtime that gave the Cardinals that final edge. She fell just two rebounds short of a double-double with eight.
“She’s a tough matchup for them, they’re not quite as athletic as she [Brown] is at the forward… and she was good and wasn’t going to be denied tonight,” Sallee said.
Samz also played a huge part in the Cardinals' success offensively as she scored 19 points making three 3-point shots. Sophomore forward Thelma Dis Agustsdottir had 13 points and seven assists and freshman guard Sydney Freeman recorded 13 points also.
Ball State was efficient shooting the ball as they connected on 51.6 percent of their shots from the field. The 3-ball was falling in the contest also as they made 10-of-25.
Ball State will return to Worthen Arena Saturday as they look to extend their win streak as they take on their first Mid-American Conference West opponent, Eastern Michigan.