Obtaining their fourth consecutive win Saturday afternoon, the Cardinals showed one important trait key to a team’s success: toughness.
Defeating Western Michigan (2-10, 1-9 MAC) 78-71, Ball State (8-5, 6-3 MAC) head coach Brady Sallee said his team's toughness was vital to the win and specifically showed up in one area of the game.
“I just thought we were the tougher team down the last six minutes,” Sallee said. “We rebounded the ball, [and] I think we went down three or four on the boards the last six minutes and ended up plus one. In clutch time, we got it done that way.”
Junior forward Thelma Dis Agustsdottir reached double-digits for her fourth consecutive game with a team-high 18 points. Shooting 8-for-10 from the field and 2-for-3 from beyond the arc, Sallee said Dis Agustsdottir’s versatility is something he enjoys having on his team.
“I can put her in literally three positions,” Sallee said. ”She's a nightmare for our defensive teams. How do you match up with her? Do you put a guard, do you put a big? She played really, really well.”
A pair of guards also contributed in the scoring department. Sophomore Sydney Freeman scored 16 points and shot 3-for-3 from the free-throw line while redshirt sophomore Anna Clephane put up 14 points. Saturday marked Clephane’s sixth straight game finishing with 12 or more points.
Senior forward Oshlynn Brown also recorded 10 points and eight rebounds in just 23 minutes of play. While she was in foul trouble the majority of the game, she totaled six points and five rebounds in the game's final quarter.
Similar to Wednesday night, Ball State left its mark offensively inside the paint and outscored the Broncos 42-16 in the interior. The Cardinals shot 30-for-58 from the field cohesively, good for 52 percent.
Sophomore guard Sydney Shafer headlined the Broncos’ offense, tallying 24 points and four assists in all 40 minutes of action. Fifteen of her 24 points came from the 3-point line, where she finished 5-for-14.
Ball State will continue its road trip Wednesday, Feb. 3, traveling to Central Michigan (10-5, 8-3 MAC). Tipoff is 5 p.m.