Ball State Men's Basketball falls to Vermont in their first game in the Bahamas

On the island filled with majestic turquoise water, plush pink sand, and nothing short of pure paradise, the Cardinals look to get a win in their first game of a three-day tournament hosted in Nassau, Bahamas.

Ball State fell to Vermont 73-78  in the first game of the Baha Mar Hoops Nassau Championship Tournament set in the Baha Mar Convention Center in Nassau, Bahamas. 

Ball State fell behind early on in the game as they started off shooting 2-8 from three through the course of the first half. The Cardinals also couldn't keep up with the Catamounts as they shot 4-9 from the perimeter.  

Ball State ran into problems they have struggled with early this season with defending the opposing team’s backcourt. Vermont guards Aaron Deloney, Dylan Penn and Kam Gibson had taken over as they combined for 53 points to hold their game-long lead against Ball State.

Ball State center Payton Sparks only had 11 points the whole game, uncharacteristic for the second-year player.The Catamounts' defense scheme set was made for Sparks by doubling him as soon as the ball was passed in his direction. 

Sparks also never really found his way to the charity stripe in the contest. Sparks went to the line twice, shooting 1-4 whereas he shot 7-10 going to the line 5 times in Ball State's last game against IU-South Bend.

Sparks wasn't the only member on the cardinals that had trouble at the free throw line as the whole team went 11-24 (46%) at the line today as the catamounts shot 13-18 (72%). 

The Cardinals did have a good defensive turnout in the lost led by guards Demarius Jacobs and Jarron Coleman who both have an four steals to help the Cardinals force 15 turnovers. 

Jacobs was the only cardinals to have a block in the game as he helped cater to their defensive outing with three blocks to add to his stat line. 

The most significant factor in today's loss to Vermont was definitely the way the Catamounts' bench got hot in the stretch of the game compared to the cardinals only playing a total of 8 players. 

It didn't help that only the players to play over 15 minutes today were the starters as Vermont played 11 players with all of them seeing vital time on the floor. 

Vermont’s bench outscored Ball State’s bench 33-10 as the cardinals never seemed to find a way to complete the comeback and hold control in the lead to win the game.

With the loss to Vermont, Ball State is now in the consolation bracket and will be set to play the loser of the Missouri State and UNC-Wilmington game tomorrow at noon.

Contact Calvin Scott with comments at or on Twitter @CalvinAJScott.


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