Ball State uses second-half run for 5th consecutive win

Ball State Cardinals senior forward Oshlynn Brown shoots a free throw during the second quarter against the Bowling Green Falcons Jan. 2, 2020, at John E. Worthen Arena. The Cardinals lost to the Falcons 89-55. Jacob Musselman, DN
Ball State Cardinals senior forward Oshlynn Brown shoots a free throw during the second quarter against the Bowling Green Falcons Jan. 2, 2020, at John E. Worthen Arena. The Cardinals lost to the Falcons 89-55. Jacob Musselman, DN

There are four minutes remaining in the third quarter.

The Cardinals are down 12 and headed to a timeout on the road.

This is against a program they had lost five of their last six against and after that timeout, a flip switched for Ball State Women's Basketball (9-5, 7-3 MAC). From that moment to the final buzzer, they outscored Central Michigan (10-6, 8-4 MAC) by a 28-13 margin, which was good enough for the Cardinals' fifth straight victory.

Despite holding the lead for about six and a half minutes, Ball State took down the Chippewas 69-66. Head Coach Brady Sallee thinks that timeout during the third quarter was pivotal for his team. 

“We had a really good timeout, in that moment,” Sallee said. “We self-checked, and our kids listened. One thing about this group is that they accept challenges. They did exactly that.”

Senior forward Oshlynn Brown recorded 25 points and 11 rebounds, both team-highs. She also made an impact in the playmaking area, putting up six assists, a season-high. Brown was 8-for-12 from the free-throw line, good for 66 percent.

Sophomore guard Sydney Freeman scored 12 points and tallied six assists. This was her fifth game of the season producing six or more assists to pair along with double-digit points. Freeman was 6-for-6 from the free-throw line, with four of those coming in the last minute of the game. At each of her trips, the Cardinals held a one-point advantage. Both of her trips extended the Cardinals' lead to three, ultimately giving them the win.  

Two other noteworthy performances came from redshirt sophomore guard Anna Clephane and junior forward Thelma Dis Agustsdottir. Clephane scored 14 points, while Dis Agustsdottir contributed 10 points and six rebounds. 

Central Michigan did most of its damage on offense from the perimeter, but not efficiently. The Chippewas shot 10-for-30 from deep. Sophomore Molly Davis led the team in scoring with 24 points. 

Sophomore guard Estel Puiggros came off the bench and scored two points in five minutes in her season debut. She tore her ACL last February causing her to miss the end of last season and the beginning of this one.

“Again, in this league, any win is a big one. Any win on the road is [huge],” Sallee said. “But beating one of the front-runners, one of the people everybody likes to talk about, it’s a good win for us.” 

Ball State will return to their home floor Saturday, Feb. 6, against Akron (4-9, 1-9 MAC). Tipoff is 4 p.m. 

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

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