“Toughness:” Ball State defeats Troy in MAC-SBC Challenge

Junior Nyla Hampton looks to pass the ball against Tennessee Tech Nov. 6 at Worthen Arena. Hampton scored six points in the game. Mya Cataline, DN
Junior Nyla Hampton looks to pass the ball against Tennessee Tech Nov. 6 at Worthen Arena. Hampton scored six points in the game. Mya Cataline, DN

Before the season started, women’s basketball head coach Brady Sallee was not sure what type of identity the Cardinals would bring. Just two games in, Sallee thinks he found the answer. 

“Toughness.” 

Sallee said that the Cardinals are able to answer offensively and defensly. He said that Ball State has been able to adjust to both sides of the ball depending on what is needed. 

“It is exciting to see what is being built right now, that is for sure,” Sallee said. 

Ball State defeated Troy 86-71 as a part of the Mid-American Conference (MAC) and Sun Belt Conference Challenge (SBC).

“We always say it is a business trip,” fifth-year senior Rauch said about the first road game of the season. 

Although Ball State finished the business, the Cardinals battled through a scoring drought in the second quarter, and had to battle two runs put up by Troy in the 13 point win. 

Sallee said he contemplated calling a timeout during those runs. Instead of calling a timeout, he wanted to see his team fight through adversity. 

“It is good to see what we are made of,” Sallee said. “You have to answer those runs. Basketball is a game of runs. You cannot be surprised by them, you have to know what to do when teams are on them.”

Rauch said that the team was able to fall back and trust on the system they know to get out of the scoreless streaks or runs by Troy. She said they used things they already know as the foundation. 

Off of the bench, Rauch was able to make an immediate impact on the paint scoring. In the end, she finished with 17 points and was 7-for-12 (58 percent) from the field. 

Sallee said that for Rauch was unbelievable on rebounding and was able to finish at the rim for the Cardinals.

WBB v Tech 4.JPG
Senior Annie Rauch celebrates Ball State shooting a three-point basket against Tennessee Tech Nov. 6 at Worthen Arena. Rauch Scored 11 points in the game. Mya Cataline, DN

“She’s [Rauch] such a great role model for us and shows us the right way to play,” junior Madelyn Bischoff said. “She really showed that on the court tonight.” 

Bischoff led the Cardinals in scoring with 22 points. She started the game 3-for-3 from the 3-point line and ended 6-for-9 (66 percent) from the arch. 

“It really helps my confidence for the rest of the game while shooting,” Bichoff said. 

With Bischoff having a high scoring night, Sallee said that she was aggressive all night. He said her performance showed that she has always been a scorer and makes a big impact for the Cardinals. 

Although the Cardinals were outrebounded 41-27. 

“I do not necisarlily like the number, but I really think that is how good they are at rebounding the ball,” Sallee said.  

The depth in all for the Cardinals has been a strong aspect of their game to start the season. The win earlier in the week had six players in double-digits, where tonight saw four Ball State players over the 10 point mark. 

“To be playing this well together at the beginning of the season, it feels really good,” Rauch said. “It makes me excited for what is to come.”

Contact Elijah Poe via email at elijah.poe@bsu.edu or on X @ElijahPoe4.

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