It took overtime to decide Ball State Women’s Basketball's (1-0, 0-0 MAC) season-opening win against Milwaukee-Wisconsin (0-1, 0-0 HORIZON).
Here are three takeaways:
The future is bright in Muncie
Against the Panthers, freshman Ally Becki made her collegiate debut, playing 25 minutes and going 7-for-9 from the field with a team-high 17 points. Around her on the court, senior Thelma Dis Augustdottir and redshirt junior Anna Celephane scored 14 and 12 points, respectively.
There was a mix of both veteran and freshman players on the court against Milwaukee as freshmen Madelyn Biscoff and Marie Kiefer both made their collegiate debuts. The mix of both younger and older players as well as the implementation of a positionless offense will prove useful to the Cardinals in the years to come.
Playing through the ebbs and flows
It was back and forth throughout the early afternoon at Worthen Arena, as the lead changed nine times and was tied 11 times. Despite being down for the majority of the game, Ball State managed to tie the Panthers in the fourth quarter by means of Clephane, who scored a buzzer-beating jump shot from the paint forcing overtime — from there, the Cardinals were able to take over the game.
In their first competitive outing, Ball State showed resilience in the face of adversity, but all were manageable.
“Obviously, there are a little bit jitters there, but knowing everyone we have, I was pretty confident,” Clephane said.
Head coach Brady Sallee said that it is early in the season and the team is building trust well during ups and downs.
“The more we see it positively, the more trust we build,” Sallee said. “That’s honestly where it starts. I don’t think at any point in the game we’re sitting out there going, ‘look, there’s three freshman and two seniors,' you don’t have time for it.”
All about momentum
This is only one game, and the Cardinals still have an entire season to play. Sallee reiterated this idealogy when talking about Ball State building trust throughout the season.
“Early in the season, as a group, part of what we’re doing is building trust,” Sallee said. “The more we see it positively, the more trust we build. That’s honestly where it starts.”
The Cardinals return to Worthen Arena Nov. 12 against Purdue Fort Wayne. Tipoff is 6:30 p.m.