3 takeaways from Ball State's 83-71 over SIUE

Junior forward Basheer Jihad shoots the ball for two-points against SIU Edwardsville Dec.10 at Worthen Arena. Isaiah Wallace, DN
Junior forward Basheer Jihad shoots the ball for two-points against SIU Edwardsville Dec.10 at Worthen Arena. Isaiah Wallace, DN

On Sunday afternoon, Ball State took the court at Worthen Arena against SIU Edwardsville. After a game where the Cardinals (8-2) never gave up the lead, the red and white defeated the Cougars (6-5) 83-71 to keep their undefeated home record alive.

Here are three takeaways from the game. 

Inconsistent in the first half 

Ball State started the contest with success on the offensive end. In the first two minutes, the Cardinals went 3-for-5 (60 percent) from three-point range. However, the following few minutes did not go as well as missed shots plagued the red and white. 

The other issue for Ball State was rebounding. While the Cardinals controlled most of the scoring, the Cougars stayed in the game due to their ability to rebound. SIUE led the rebound category at halftime with 22 to Ball State’s 13. 

Nearing the end of the half, the Cardinals’ momentum on offense began to return as they went 12-for-28 (42.9 percent) from the field.

The Cardinals only had six turnovers

One game after recording their season-high of 21 turnovers, the Cardinals looked very different in their contest with the Cougars. During the first half, Ball State only recorded one turnover. This was due to their ability to limit out-of-bounds plays and make good passes. 

However, it wasn’t just the Cardinals who could hold onto the basketball. The Cougars ended the opening half after only giving up seven themselves. They too were able to limit mistakes and control the ball. 

After halftime, the Cardinals started to have issues in the turnover category. In the first nine minutes of the second half, Ball State coughed up the ball five times. However, they never lost the ball again as they finished the win with six total turnovers. 

Two Cardinals stood out on offense

When it came to offense, juniors Jalin Anderson and Basheer Jihad were the biggest keys to Ball State’s success. Basheer was a force in the paint, which allowed him to make multiple trips to the free-throw line. 

He finished the game with 27 points – a career-high – on 7-for-13 (53.8 percent) shooting. He also led the Cardinals with ten rebounds, giving him his fourth double-double of the season. 

When it came to Anderson, his ability to knock down the three-point shot helped the Cardinals keep a lead throughout the game. He finished the win with 23 points on 8-for-16 (50 percent) shooting. From deep, he went 5-for-9 (55 percent), which was a season-high. 

Yet his ability to score wasn’t the only thing that hurt SIUE. Anderson was able to find other Cardinals as he led the team with five assists. 

Ball State will return to the court next Saturday when they face Indiana State at the Indy Classic. The game will be played at Gainbridge Fieldhouse in Indianapolis and will start at 1:45 p.m. 

Contact Zach Carter with comments at zachary.carter@bsu.edu or on X @ZachCarter85


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