3 takeaways from Ball State women’s basketball win over Miami (OH)

Junior Nyla Hampton makes a drive Jan. 24 against Miami at Worthen Arena. Nyla had 14 points in the game. Andrew Berger, DN
Junior Nyla Hampton makes a drive Jan. 24 against Miami at Worthen Arena. Nyla had 14 points in the game. Andrew Berger, DN

Ball State (17-2, 7-0 MAC) continued their winning ways Wednesday, defeating the Miami Redhawks in a blowout win. With the win, the Cardinals are off to their best start in Mid-American Conference (MAC) play since 2001 when they started 8-0. 

Here are three takeaways from the win.

Defense turning into offense

In the opening minutes, it seemed as though the Redhawks were playing like the underdogs. They threw a 1-3-1 zone defense on Ball State’s first possession and the Cardinals rushed a quick shot from junior Madelyn Bischoff. 

After a Miami 3-pointer, they set back up in their zone defense and trapped junior Nyla Hampton near the sideline, forcing a jump ball turnover. 

Ball State responded with a 9-0 run and didn’t let up another Redhawk field goal until 2:23 left in the first quarter. In order to force Miami to matchup man-to-man, the Cardinals got stops when they were on defense, and didn’t give the Redhawks time to set up their defense. 

Miami shot just 5-for-18 (27.8 percent) in the first half and scored just 16 points. When Miami coughed up thirteen first half turnovers, Ball State converted on their opportunities. They accumulated 21 points off Miami’s mistakes. 

A revelation in the first quarter was junior Marie Kiefer’s effectiveness. She got the Cardinals on the board when she skied for an offensive rebound, went back up with it and converted on an and-one opportunity. She also hit a 3-pointer from the left wing with around five minutes left in the quarter. 

In many games this year, Kiefer has gotten in foul trouble early. Wednesday, she played defense without fouling and made plays. 

Their 2nd quarter field goal percentage was what?

12-for-15. 80 percent. That’s what the Cardinals shot from the field in the second quarter Wednesday night. 

The second 10 minutes have been the best 10 minutes for Ball State this season. They are outscoring their opponents in the quarter by an average of 4.5 points per game, their biggest scoring margin by far. After Wednesday, that number will bump up even higher.

The Cardinals were efficient on both ends of the floor, dominating the quarter 31-9. A big reason for it was their 3-point shooting. They went 7-for-9 (78 percent). 

Kiefer and sophomore Hana Mühl each missed 3-point attempts to start the quarter, but Ball State hit their next seven shots from beyond the arc to end the quarter. 

Sophomore Ana Barretto had four threes and Bischoff added three, while junior Nyla Hampton and Becki each added one. The Cardinals ended the first half on a 16-0 run from four 3-pointers alone. Ball State held a 48-16 advantage heading into the locker room.

The Cardinals finished the game 13-for-27 (48 percent) from 3-point land, making five more shots from distance than the Redhawks.

Getting players some ‘tick’

Ball State hasn’t played in a game like this in a long time. Sure, they’ve beaten teams by 20 points in MAC play. They weren’t up so much in those games that they could clear the bench out, though. 

Every player on the roster checked into the game including the freshman twins Hailey and Olivia Smith, freshman Ashlynn Brooke, Sophomore Sydney Bolden and senior Sydney Shaffer. They combined to score 19 points and they all shared the floor for most of the fourth quarter. 

With the Cardinals’ win against Toledo happening on Sunday this week, they had just two days of practice for a usual Wednesday game compared to the usual three. The starters only having to play two-and-a-half quarters should keep them fresh for Saturday’s road game at Eastern Michigan with tip-off scheduled for 1 p.m.

Contact Caleb Zuver via email at cmzuver@bsu.edu or on X @zuves35.


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