After a nine-day gap for finals week, Ball State Women's Basketball (7-3) extended its winning streak to three Dec. 20 in a 84-63 victory against Bellarmine (2-8).
“It’s mentally exhausting, and I think you just have to remember to separate finals and basketball once you step on the court,” redshirt junior Anna Clephane said.
The Cardinals were led by Clephane, who scored a career-high 26 points. Senior Thelma Dis Agustsdottir chipped in 18 points.
“It’s pretty exciting,” Clephane said. “I think in this game, the key was my teammates being there to get me the ball and trusting me to score with it.”
Ball State shot 10-for-29 from the 3-point line, including four from Dis Agustsdottir, who said the key to her success lies in practice.
“Making sure I get a lot of shots up during practice and having in my mind, ‘this one’s going in,” Dis Agustsdottir said.
Head Coach Brady Sallee said he was impressed with how hard the Knights played.
“I thought Bellarmine came out with a lot of want to,” Sallee said. “I give them a lot of credit because they came out and were the aggressor for most of the game.”
Bellarmine was paced by redshirt junior guard Jaela Johnson, who totaled 18 points, seven rebounds and three steals. The Knights outrebounded the Cardinals 34-29.
Sallee said although the Cardinals didn't play their best, they learned from their mistakes and game experience.
“This is always a tough time of year, because are you in the gym, or are you halfway home,” Sallee said. “I think we learned a lot because we have some young players who are going through the finals schedule for the first time, and we have some older players who have to lead.”
The Cardinals have a nine-day break before returning to Worthen Arena Dec. 29 against Western Michigan (6-3). Tipoff is 6:30 p.m. Sallee said he knows Ball State can deal with the extended time off because of its leadership and veteran presence.
“I think we were playing really well and then we had a break because of finals,” Sallee said. “I think you have to have a really mature team to adjust to that.”