Unforced turnovers, lack of offensive continuity lead to Ball State losing its home opener against IUPUI

<p>Head Coach Brady Sallee yells at a referee after a call was made Feb. 29, 2020, at John E. Worthen Arena. Ball State beat Central Michigan 67-62. <strong>Jacob Musselman, DN</strong></p>

Head Coach Brady Sallee yells at a referee after a call was made Feb. 29, 2020, at John E. Worthen Arena. Ball State beat Central Michigan 67-62. Jacob Musselman, DN

One facet of the game continues haunting Ball State Women’s Basketball (0-2, 0-0 MAC): turnovers. The Cardinals committed 21 turnovers in their 73-49 loss to IUPUI (2-0, 0-0 Horizon) Monday.

In its season-opening loss to Milwaukee, Ball State finished with 20 turnovers. The failure to protect the ball has disrupted the Cardinals’ offensive rhythm in both contests, and on Monday, it gave the Jaguars easy buckets in transition. 

“Clearly, IUPUI pressed us and got after our point-guard play,” head coach Brady Sallee said. “I thought they made us play east to west a little bit too much, and against pressure, you have to play north and south.”

Despite the loss, junior forward Thelma Dis Agustsdottir finished with her first double-double of her collegiate career, recording 10 points and a team-high 10 rebounds. 

Freshman guard Ivet Subirats also started her first career game and made the most of it, finishing with a share of the team-high 10 points. She also chipped in three rebounds, three steals and two assists. 

“I think [Suibrats] came out really aggressive,” Sallee said. “There are things defensively she has to learn like any freshman, but you can’t fault her for her effort level. I think she played hard and aggressive on the offensive end.” 

Senior forward Macee Williams led IUPUI. She was a problem all night for the Cardinals’ frontcourt, recording 28 points on 13-for-17 shooting from the field. 

Williams also pulled down 10 rebounds, which included six on the offensive end. This helped the Jaguars capitalize on extra possessions. 

“Collectively, [Williams] was just a bit too much for us with where we are in the season right now,” Sallee said. 

Ball State was once again shorthanded, playing without senior forward Oshlynn Brown and junior guard Sydney Freeman. Freeman, who played in the season opener against Milwaukee, had a boot on her right leg while watching her teammates from the sidelines. Timetables for each of their returns to action is unknown. 

The Cardinals have a quick turnaround, with their first Mid-American Conference game slated for Wednesday at 6 p.m against Eastern Michigan (1-1, 0-0 MAC). The last time these two sides met was the 2020 MAC Tournament quarterfinals, where the No. 7 Eagles upset the No. 2 Cardinals 64-63. 

In preparation for that rematch, Sallee is confident his team will move on from Monday's loss and shift its focus to Eastern Michigan. 

“I have a feeling we will flip the page quick,” Sallee said. 

 Contact Charleston Bowles with comments at clbowles@bsu.edu or on Twitter @cbowles01.


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