Ball State snaps Toledo's 9 game winning streak

Junior guard Demarius Jacobs set the tone for what would become a 3-point shooting barrage the rest of the game in Ball State Men’s Basketball’s (11-11, 6-5 MAC) 93-83 win over Toledo (18-5, 9-2 MAC), as he made a 3-pointer in the corner on the first possession.  

Later in the half, junior guard Luke Bumbalough made  two-consecutive 3-pointers to give the Cardinals a 24-13 lead, as shooting was the catalyst early in the game with Ball State going up by as many as 20 points, shooting 59 percent on 10 3-pointers in the first half. The Cardinals ended the game 48 percent from deep and 50 percent from the field.

“It is huge,” Whitford said.  “We made shots and we got the ball inside. It's a good combination. Usually, the more you get the ball inside, the more shots you make. It's part of winning games like this.”

Ball State was led by freshman center Payton Sparks with 18 points, 11 rebounds and four assists followed by Bumbalough’s 17 points and five threes.

Toledo ended the first half making nine of their last buckets to cut Ball State’s lead to just 51-45 leading into an eventful second half. 

Out of the half, Ball State started with similar momentum with Jacobs and sophomore guard Tyler Cochran both making consecutive buckets to make it 56-45, but it was Ryan Rollins’ consecutive buckets for the Rockets that helped them get back into the game. They went on an 11-0 run to tie the game at 56 with 15 minutes remaining. 

Junior guard Demarius Jacobs jumps up for the ball against Toledo on Feb. 4, 2022 at Worthen Arena in Muncie, IN. Jacobs scored 15 points during the game. Amber Pietz, DN

Bumbalough switched the momentum of the game with a 3-pointer to regain the lead with 14 minutes left. A couple of plays later, Sellers came down the floor and made a layup to make it 61-57. With 12 minutes left, Sparks blocked a Rockets’ shot which sent the crowd out of their seats. Freshman guard Jaylin Sellers followed that up with an acrobatic layup plus the foul to give Ball State a 66-58 lead with 11 minutes left in the game.

Out of the timeout, Toledo went on a 7-0 run to give them their first lead at 67-66, which Sellers once again put to an end with a 3-pointer. Toledo had a chance to cut the game to one point with seven minutes left, but after a technical foul by the Rockets, Ball State was able to take a 72-68 lead.

“It gives us great confidence,” Sparks said.  “They're really good. They are a really good team, well coached and that just tells me we can stay with anybody in the conference, and we just have to keep working every day. We're gonna keep getting better.”

Ball State was able to keep the lead and put the game away with a Bumbalough 3-pointer. It gave them an 88-81 lead, ultimately winning and taking down the No. 1 seed in the Mid-Americn Conference.

“It feels really good,” Bumbalough said. “We know we have it in us. We're starting to get a good stretch and playing together, playing unselfish and going inside out and just trying to handle runs. Toledo went on arun again tonight and we handled it down the stretch, and we stayed composed. It feels good to just finally pull that win out.”

Ball State stays home to take on Central Michigan Tuesday, Feb. 8 at 7 p.m.

Contact Ian Hansen with comments at or on Twitter @ianh_2.


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