Ball State Women’s Basketball defeated Kent State in a Mid-American Conference (MAC) matchup.
Head coach Brady Sallee said a team who embraces adversity is going to continue to get better, and that’s what the Cardinals have done throughout the season, moving to 19-4 overall and 8-1 in the MAC.
A fast first quarter leads to a slower second quarter
Ball State came out hot to start the game, scoring 29 points. It was the second-highest-scoring opening quarter for the Cardinals all season.
Ball State was 10-15 (66 percent) from the field and 4-8 (50 percent) from the three-point line. They also were 5-5 (100 percent) from the free-throw line.
A large part of this success was being able to find the open man. The Cardinals had seven assists in the first quarter, while they also forced four turnovers and had seven points off of those turnovers. At the end of the first, they outscored the Golden Flashes 29-20.
After the first, it was apparent that Ball State was clicking on all levels. There was an abundance of rebounds, assists and points.
The second quarter told a very different story and Ball State looked like a different team, instead of a team who was clicking in unity, it was more of a team trying to scrap for points.
The Cardinals were outscored 16-14 in the second quarter. As a team, Ball State was 4-15 (26 percent) from the field, 0-5 (0 percent) from three.
During that time, Kent State (14-7, 6-4 MAC) was able to close in on the lead and cut it down to seven going into halftime.
Momentum shifting third quarter and a close fourth
The third quarter continued to be a struggle for the Cardinals. Kent State was able to close the lead to only five going into the fourth with help of an 11-0 run during the quarter.
Ball State was outscored 21-19 in the quarter, but with a lead dwindling going into the last quarter every point counted. The Cardinals improved to 9-15 (60 percent) from the field compared to the second quarter.
The nail in the coffin that really shifted momentum came with a double-technical foul from sophomore Alex Richard. The foul came after Richard blocked a shot and seemingly exchanged words with Kent State players, but whatever was said was enough for her to be ejected from the game.
Ball State had four turnovers as well, that surmounted to eight points off of those turnovers for Kent State.
Senior Katie Shumate led the Golden Flashes throughout the whole game and was a problem for the Cardinal defense. At the end of the game, she had 22 points and was 8-19 (42 percent) from the field. She also had nine rebounds, one shy of a double-double.
Throughout the season it has not been unusual to see sophomore Ally Becki diving for loose balls, getting rebounds and dishing out an assist. Today was no different.
Becki had 14 points, eight assists, four rebounds and two steals. In a game that came down to the final minutes, she was an influential reason Ball State was able to pull away with a win.
After a quick bucket with 40 seconds left from Kent State, Becki was able to get the inbound pass and heave a pass all the way downcourt to hit redshirt senior Anna Clephane for the game-sealing bucket.
In the end, the Cardinals outscored Kent State 18-14 in the fourth with major help to free throws when the Golden Flashes were in foul trouble late. Ball State was 5-5 from the free-throw line.
At the final buzzer, there were five Ball State players in double-digits. Becki had 14 points, Clephane had 11 points, sophomore Marie Kiefer had 12 points, Bischoff had 20 points and lastly, Richard had 10 points.
Madelyn Bischoff leads
Coming off a 15-point game against Northern Illinois (10-10, 2-7 MAC), Bischoff picked up where she left off. The Cardinals had 20 points with three minutes to go in the first quarter, 11 of which were from Bischoff.
Bischoff, a sophomore, was 4-5 (80 percent) from the field and 2-3 (66 percent) from three. All of this was done in only seven minutes of play.
At halftime, she was still at 11 points. Right out of the third, she struck again, with a 3-pointer to get her up to 14 points.
At the end of the game, she was the Cardinals’ leading scorer with 20 points, was 7-12 (58 percent) from the field and also 3-6 (50 percent) from three.
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