Steal here, basket there. Steal there, basket here.
Ball State faced Saint Louis at Worthen Arena where the Cardinals jumped out to an 11-2 lead with 4:25 remaining in the first quarter. They never lost the lead. After that, Ball State (5-2) used that early lead to defeat Saint Louis(3-8) 85-51.
The squad gave the home fans plenty to cheer for and had many things that helped them prevail over the Billikens.
Here are three takeaways from the contest.
The Cardinals' defense started off with heavy pressure that forced six turnovers in the first quarter. Those steals helped the home team outscore the Billikens by eight in the first quarter.
Throughout the game, Ball State used that same pressure to pull away. Early in the second quarter the Cardinals led by 15 points, in third it was 24, and mid-way through the fourth, by as many as 37 points.
But it was not just steals. Ball State tipped passes and made the Billikens offense look uncomfortable in procession.
As a team, Ball State forced a total of eight steals, compared to Saint Louis’s six.
The defensive leader for the Cardinals was Sophomore Ally Becki with four steals while sophomore forward Marie Kiefer and freshman guard Hana Mühl both recorded a block.
Head coach Brady Sallee’s squad showed their chemistry and ability to make the extra pass. Constantly during the first half, the Cardinals found the open shooter or gave a teammate an open lane to the basket.
As a unit, the team had 21 total assists, ten more than the visitors – the passing became a staple throughout the game.
Sophomore guard Ally Becki and freshman guard Hana Mühl lead the Cardinals with four assists.
Hitting Their Shots
The Cardinals, as a team, started off shooting 7-15 (46.7 percent) in the first quarter, and finished the first half at 15-of-30 (50 percent).
The Cardinals were led by graduate student guard Thelma Dis Agustsdottir, who by halftime had already four three-pointers. The Billikens could not contain her as she finished the game with 17 points, going six-of-eight and five-of-six from behind the arc.
As a team, the Cardinals finished the home victory going 31-of-61 (50.8 percent) and went 9-of-22 (40.9 percent) on three-pointers
Outside of Agustsdottir, Ball State had four other scorers in double figures. Behind her was redshirt senior guard Anna Clephane, who had 16 points on 6-of-15 (40 percent) shooting