Ball State women’s basketball moves to 5-0 after a win over IUPUI

Junior Ally Becki dribbles the ball towards the net against Northern Iowa Nov. 18 at Worthen Arena. Mya Cataline, DN
Junior Ally Becki dribbles the ball towards the net against Northern Iowa Nov. 18 at Worthen Arena. Mya Cataline, DN

Head coach Brady Sallee said he knew coming in that IUPUI would be a tough fight. 

“We knew it was going to be a Super Bowl type of mindset for them,” Sallee said. “We had to be able to withstand that, and that is exactly what it was.” 

Withstanding the Panthers, the 67-63 win was the closest margin of victory for the Cardinals all year. 

With IUPUI taking its best shot at Ball State, Sallee said that the Cardinals' execution in pulling out the win will bode well for them going forward. 

With the close game, it marked the first real challenge of the year when it came down to crunch time. Ball State was down by one heading into the fourth quarter. Sallee said it was the first time this year that they had to call someone's number to answer the score. 

Last year, Sallee said it would be Thelma Dis Agustsdottir or Anna Clephane. Although he said they are still searching, he said they have a bunch of players who can answer the call when needed. 

The player who answered the call today was junior Ally Becki. She had five quick points in the fourth quarter. With her scoring and passing abilities, she led the Cardinals to their fourth-quarter win. 

“We put the ball in Allys’ hands,” Sallee said. “We let her play off ball screens and moved some people around to space them. She was able to get it to the rim, hit some pull-ups and then she found the big one when she found Maddie (junior Madelyn Bischoff) for three.”

The ‘big one’ was with 19 seconds left and Ball State led 63-61. Becki drove into the paint and Bischoff's defender followed her in, leaving Bischoff wide open at the top of the key. Bischoff made the shot and pulled ahead of the Jaguars 66-61. 

Becki led the Cardinals with 19 points in the game, she also had seven rebounds and six assists. 

Another leader in the game was junior Marie Kiefer. She finished with 15 points and was 6-for-10 (60 percent) from the field. Her 10 rebounds made it the first double-double by any Ball State player this season.

Before ending in a win, the Cardinals opened their game with a struggle from the field. 

At the end of the first, Ball State was 1-for-9 (11.1 percent) from the 3-point line and 5-for-17 (29.4 percent) from the field. 

Heading into the fourth quarter, the Cardinals were 3-for-25 (12 percent) from three. 

Although they were able to increase their percentages from the field in each quarter, the poor first half put them in a hole from the start. 

Sallee said he thought the Cardinals were settling for some shots that he would have liked the team not to take during the first half.

With a Black Friday game against Notre Dame on the horizon, a 7:30 a.m. practice will be in held on Turkey Day. 

The No. 17 ranked Fighting Irish will come into Worthen Arena Nov. 24 with the game starting at 5 p.m. 

Sallee said he is excited to hold a top-20 team in the nation in Muncie and thankful for the opportunity to play an in-state opponent like Notre Dame. 

“At the end of the day when that ball goes up, our job is to compete,” Sallee said. “The opponent is who it is. We are gonna play and do what we do. It is just going to be against an extremely high-level opponent.”

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

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