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It was the final game of the year for Ball State Women’s Basketball (21-9, 13-5 MAC). Win or lose, the Cardinals had already punched their ticket to Cleveland for next week’s Mid-American Conference tournament. The game for Western Michigan (17-12, 10-8 MAC), on the other hand, decided if it would be playing Monday. It took an extra five minutes for Ball State to take down the Broncos 64-63.
With 10 more wins than last year, as of Feb. 25, the Cardinals’ previous record has become just that — the past.
One constant that has been surrounding the Cardinals this season is playing from start to finish. Playing in close games has been consistent throughout the entire season. Wednesday’s conference tilt against Toledo (11-15, 6-9 MAC) proved to be no different. Ball State Women’s Basketball (19-8, 11-4 MAC) defeated the Rockets 66-60 in a physical game from start to finish.
Close margins of victory have been the theme for Ball State Women’s Basketball this season. On Saturday it saw yet another game decided by 10 points or fewer. This time, it was Eastern Michigan that was able to take the slight edge over the Cardinals 61-58. Here are four takeaways from the Cardinals’ first loss in February.
At this point a year ago, Ball State owned a record of 7-18 and had just recently come off of a 97-58 loss at home to Buffalo.
The defense has been the story for the Cardinals this season, and Saturday was no different. The second matchup against the Bulls proved to be quite similar to the first one. The defense was a great point of emphasis for Ball State, and it executed like it has all year to come out on top. Here are four takeaways from Ball State Women’s Basketball’s 69-58 defeat of Buffalo.
After going 34 days since its last road victory, Ball State was hungry for a win away from Muncie. It took an all-around team effort to take down Toledo, and that is exactly what the Cardinals did. Contributions from everyone who stepped foot on the court helped lift them over the Rockets. Here are four takeaways from Ball State's two-point win in Toledo, Ohio.
Finding a rhythm on offense was not the Cardinals’ forte Saturday, but their defensive effort made up for their offensive struggles. Ball State Women’s Basketball (15-7, 7-3 MAC) turned to a physical defensive presence to overcome an early deficit and defeat Akron (9-11, 2-7 MAC) 60-52.
Ball State has had a history of close games this season, and Tuesday was no different. The Cardinals have trailed at some point in five of their six conference wins this season. Ball State started the game, and it appeared they couldn’t buy a bucket.
The Cardinals went into Kent, Ohio knowing that the Golden Flashes have the ability to play a complete 40 minutes of basketball. When the two teams first met in early January, Ball State was able to finish the game in the final 30 seconds. Wednesday's tilt favored Kent State in the final 30 seconds. Here are three takeaways from Ball State Women’s Basketball’s 69-68 defeat at Kent State.
Senior guard Arbrie Benson picks up a screen from sophomore forward Thelma Dis Agustsdottir. Benson then finds Agustsdottir off a screen and roll. She takes it up and lays it in for two points.
After a slow offensive start to the game, Monroe Central (9-5) found its groove on both ends of the floor to pull away against conference rival Eastern Hancock (6-5), 60-47, on Homecoming for the Golden Bears.
In a game where Ball State Women’s Basketball found itself down by as many as 14, offense was hard to find early, but it was found at the right time for the Cardinals to end a two-game losing streak.
The Cardinals were outscored by the Bobcats in three of the four quarters Saturday. Outscoring Ohio, 20-11, in the fourth quarter was enough to get it close but not enough to complete the comeback. Ball State saw production from senior guard Arbrie Benson, scoring 12 points off the bench. Benson had seven of those in the fourth quarter before heading to the bench with 1:10 remaining.
In a game where the Cardinals were outscored, 34-14, in the second half, offense wasn’t the only thing Ball State had a hard time finding. From committing three turnovers before their first point to only making 5-of-12 attempts from the free-throw line, the Cardinals were not able to keep up with the Chippewas. Here are four takeaways from Ball State’s 66-39 defeat at Central Michigan.
When graduate student guard Jasmin Samz hits the hardwood for a game, she’s got one focus. That is to help her team in the best way she can to help it be victorious. Saturday afternoon’s matchup against Eastern Michigan continued to prove why she is a leader for Ball State Women’s Basketball. In a physical conference matchup, Samz used her hustle and next-play mentality to lift the Cardinals over the Eagles to remain unbeaten in conference play.
Friday night’s Central Indiana Conference matchup was different for the Bruins. Their third-year head coach Jerry Hoover would miss the game because he was hospitalized this week due to having pneumonia. He left the keys to his son and assistant coach Don Hoover. The absence of the team’s head coach did not distract Blackford (8-2, 3-0 CIC) from defeating Madison-Grant (6-5, 1-2 CIC), 93-74.
Beginning in Albuquerque, New Mexico, Ball State Women’s Basketball has turned the 3-0 trip at the Lobo Christmas Classic into a six-game win streak and an undefeated start in conference play.
Over the course of the past three games, the Cardinals have held their opponents to an average of 57 points per game. Redshirt senior forward Tahjai Teague has been the leading force on defense in this winning stretch. In Tuesday’s 88-68 conference victory against Buffalo, Ball State used that same recipe for success that has worked in the past: Stop the opponent on defense to create open looks on offense.
In the first game of the new year, both teams looked to advance to 1-0 in 2020 and 1-0 in conference play. In a Mid-American Conference opening tilt between the Cardinals and Golden Flashes, both teams went back-and-forth as the lead would change hands 14 times.