Three takeaways from Ball State men's basketball's first loss of the season

In Ball State’s (1-1, 0-0 MAC) first game on the road this season, they fell short to Indiana State (2-0, 0-0 MVC) 83-71. The Sycamores jumped out to an early lead which, despite a good second half, the Cardinals could not recover from.

This was the first Division-1 matchup for the Cardinals this season, as well as the first one as for head coach Michael Lewis, and it happened to be a rivalry game. Here are three takeaways:

Turnovers are a problem

The Cardinals had 19 turnovers this afternoon, including 11 in the first half, but not all 19 were forced errors. 

Ball State played a little too loose with the ball today, making costly unforced mistakes that led to 23 points off turnovers for Indiana State. 

Boogie Coleman and Payton Sparks are special

Indiana State’s main defensive scheme focused on Sophomore forward Payton Sparks down low. Every time he touched the ball, another Sycamore came to double. Early on in the game, this strategy seemed to be working but after about ten minutes, Sparks showed why he was selected to the preseason All-Mid-American Conference First Team.

Sparks began to read the doubles better and hit his teammates on the perimeter for good shots, as well as creating his own scoring. He was able to fight his way to the free throw line for 11 shots and he finished the game with 18 points. 

Redshirt junior guard Jarron Coleman came up huge for the Cardinals today, scoring 29 points while shooting 9-18 from the field. 

Oh, and that included seven three-pointers. 

Both players were able to keep their team in the game despite trailing for the majority of the contest.

Shot selection

Some of the shots taken today felt rushed. There were moments when the Cardinals took some shots that they didn’t need to. 

Ball State shot 36.4% from the field in the first half while Indiana State shot around 55%. There were shots that only came off of one or two passes or an isolation play. 

The Cardinals travel to Omaha, Nebraska next to take on the University of Nebraska - Omaha Nov. 16 at 8:37 p.m.

Contact Derran Cobb with comments at or on Twitter @Derran_cobb.


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