Offense, offense and more offense. Ball State (1-0, 0-0 MAC) opened its 2022-2023 campaign with a 106-39 win against Earlham (0-1, 0-0 HCAC).
It did not take long as they jumped to an early 17-5 lead with 14:53 left in the first half. After that, the Cardinals took the momentum.
The team looked solid right out of the gate, with multiple drive-ins that put the Cardinals at the free-throw line.
After Ball State’s first regular season victory, here are three takeaways from the game.
Points in the paint
The Cardinals came out with a fast-paced offense that the Quakers struggled to stop. Multiple points were scored when players drove in with force, drawing fouls and getting layups to drop.
Ball State was not afraid of contact. Multiple drives ended up with a blown whistle and a Cardinal layed out on the court from the foul.
After drawing the fouls, the Cardinals used the advantage to hit free throws. They attempted 16 alone in the first half and made 11 of those. The team would finish the game by hitting 23 out of 32.
Senior guard Damarious Jacobs led the team with 19 points, hitting seven out of eight shots
Moving the ball around
The team found most of their success because of their commitment to the pass. The Cardinals had no issue finding the open man, whether it was beyond the three-point line or in the paint.
They showed that the chemistry is strong across the lineup. Multiple times a Cardinal was in a spot to shoot, but they held up and found a teammate for a more open and better look.
By the end of the game, Jacobs led the Cardinals with six assists.
Fast-paced play style
Michael Lewis' team showed that they have speed and can play well with it. From tip-off to the final buzzer, the Cardinals did not slow down.
This was the main attack that kept their lead big throughout the game. The Quakers could not keep up as Ball State moved down the court with multiple fastbreaks that ended in easy points.
But it was not just a fast offense. Ball State also seemed to be everywhere on defense, moving together as a team, switching to other players and helping when a teammate needed help.
Defensively, three Ball State players led the team with three blocks each. Those were Jacobs, second-year center Payton Sparks and redshirt sophomore forward Mickey Pearson Jr. Third-year guard Jalen Windham led the team with four steals.