In its first (and last) game of the Mid-American Conference (MAC) Tournament, No. 4 seed Ball State took on No. 5 seed Ohio. After time expired, the Bobcats defeated the Cardinals 90-70.
Here are three takeaways from the Cardinals’ season-ending loss.
Not a great start on offense
In their first five shot attempts, the Cardinals (20-12) completed four (80 percent). The Bobcats (19-13) had a much different start, going two-for-six (33.3 percent) in that same stretch.
The rest of the first half was a different story.
Ohio completely flipped the script as the Bobcats finished the opening half on 20-for-34 shooting (58.8 percent). The Cardinals followed the flipped script, but probably not the way they wanted to. They ended the half on 11-for-27 shooting (40.7 percent).
Ohio’s energy and effort won the game
Ball State and Ohio fans alike might want to know what was said to the Bobcats during the media timeout at the 11:15 mark in the first half. Before the timeout, Ball State only trailed by two. After that, it wasn’t even close.
On defense, the Bobcats seemed to have a plan for every scenario. The Cardinals tried multiple things including 3-pointers, driving inside, and moving the ball. However, all of those only led to first-year head coach Michael Lewis scratching his head.
Like mentioned above, the Bobcats’ offense had no issues getting to the hoop. That continued into the second half as Ohio finished the game shooting 33-for-68 (48.5 percent) from the field. The Cardinals went 25-for-62 (40.3 percent).
Even with the struggles, there were some Cardinal performances worth mentioning. One of those was from sophomore center Payton Sparks. He finished the game leading Ball State with 21 points and seven rebounds.
Another performance that was noticeable was senior guard Demarius Jacobs. In his last game in the red and white, he finished with 11 points on 3-for-5 shooting (60 percent). His second half performance was limited after picking up three fouls.
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