After a five-point loss to Valparaiso in the non-conference finale, the Ball State women’s basketball team was sitting at 3-10, on the brink of another disappointing conference season.
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Ball State’s senior guard Jauwan Scaife stepped up to the foul line. As the 80 percent foul shooter toed the line in his normal routine his cool demeanor reflected what he was feeling on the inside.
The schedule says that the Ball State women’s basketball team is on a two-game winning streak.
With 17 minutes left in Ball State’s game against Northern Illinois on Saturday, Brittany Carter hit a 3-pointer, then a pair of three throws to give Ball State a 31-28 lead.
Nathalie Fontaine had another big game for Ball State. She scored 16 points and added 12 rebounds in a second half outburst to help beat Eastern Michigan 56-34.
EAST LANSING, Mich. — Victor Oladipo shook off a sprained left ankle with a spectacular performance to lift top-ranked Indiana to a 72-68 win over No. 4 Michigan State on Tuesday night.
By David Wharton Los Angeles Times (MCT) LOS ANGELES _ When Jerry Buss bought the Los Angeles Lakers in 1979, he wanted to build a championship team. But that wasn't all. The new owner gave courtside seats to movie stars. He hired pretty women to dance during timeouts. He spent freely on big stars and encouraged a fast-paced, exuberant style of play. As the Lakers sprinted to one NBA title after another, Buss cut an audacious figure in the stands, an aging playboy in blue jeans, often with a younger woman by his side. "I really tried to create a Laker image, a distinct identity," he once said. "I think we've been successful. I mean, the Lakers are pretty damn Hollywood." Buss died Monday of complications of cancer at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center in Los Angeles, according to his longtime spokesman, Bob Steiner. Buss was 80. Lakers fans will remember Buss for bringing extraordinary success-10 championships in three-plus decades-but equally important to his legacy was a sense of showmanship that transformed pro basketball from sport to spectacle. "Jerry Buss helped set the league on the course it is on today," NBA Commissioner David Stern said. "Remember, he showed us it was about 'Showtime,' the notion that an arena can become the focal point for not just basketball, but entertainment. He made it the place to see and be seen." His teams featured the likes of Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, Magic Johnson, Kobe Bryant, Shaquille O'Neal and Dwight Howard. He was also smart enough to hire Hall of Fame-caliber coaches in Pat Riley and Phil Jackson. "I've worked hard and been lucky," Buss said. "With the combination of the two, I've accomplished everything I ever set out to do." A Depression-era baby, Jerry Hatten Buss was born in Salt Lake City on Jan. 27, 1933, although some sources cite 1934 as his birth year. His parents, Lydus and Jessie Buss, divorced when he was an infant. His mother struggled to make ends meet as a waitress in tiny Evanston, Wyo., and Buss remembered standing in food lines in the bitter cold. They moved to Southern California when he was 9, but within a few years she remarried and her second husband took the family back to Wyoming. His stepfather, Cecil Brown, was, as Buss put it, "very tight-fisted." Brown made his living as a plumber and expected his children (one from a previous marriage, another son and a daughter with Jessie) to help. This work included digging ditches in the cold. Buss preferred bell hopping at a local hotel and running a mail-order stamp-collecting business he started at age 13. Leaving high school a year early, he worked on the railroad, pumping a hand-driven car up and down the line to make repairs. The job lasted just three months. Until then, Buss had never much liked academics. But he returned to school and, with a science teacher's encouragement, did well enough to earn a science scholarship to the University of Wyoming. Before graduating with a bachelor's degree in chemistry, when he was 19 he married a coed named JoAnn Mueller and they would eventually have four children: John, Jim, Jeanie and Janie. The couple moved to Southern California in 1953 when the University of Southern California gave Buss a scholarship for graduate school. He earned a doctorate in physical chemistry in 1957. The degree brought him great pride _ Lakers employees always called him "Dr. Buss." He was hired by Douglas Aircraft Co. in February 1958, part of a team that developed rocket fuel and other classified material. But the idea of a career in the aerospace industry did not appeal to Buss. As the 1950s drew to a close, he and a Douglas colleague, Frank Mariani, decided to try their hand at real estate. They scraped together a few thousand dollars and took out multiple mortgages to buy a 14-unit apartment house in West Los Angeles and, to save money, did all the repairs themselves. Once, fixing a damaged wall after work, Buss peeled off his T-shirt, stuffed it into the hole and plastered over it. They soon bought a second building and stumbled onto some good fortune. The partners-along with several relatives-won $12,000 at the racetrack, then bought yet another building, soon discovering oil on the property and receiving lucrative royalty rights. "Everybody just felt like God loves us," Buss recalled in the book "Winnin' Times," written by former Los Angeles Times sportswriters Scott Ostler and Steve Springer. "Everything we did just went the right way." Now millionaires, Buss and Mariani turned to another sort of venture. Gathering friends as investors, they bought into the fledgling World Team Tennis league in 1974. Buss purchased the Los Angeles Strings and Mariani bought the San Diego Friars. Others took over franchises in Anaheim, Calif., and Indiana. The Strings won a championship in 1978, but the league did not last much longer. Buss went looking for a bigger, better opportunity. "I have enough money to own a major league team," he said at the time. "And I intend to do so." Jack Kent Cooke, who had built the Forum in Inglewood to house his Lakers and Kings, was in the midst of an expensive divorce and wanted to cash out. He began negotiating with Buss. The asking price was $33.5 million for the arena, $16 million for the Lakers, $8 million for the Kings and $10 million for Cooke's ranch in the Sierra Nevada. Buss suggested a real-estate swap to avoid capital gains taxes and wound up unloading the majority of his holdings. As part of the deal, he bought the Chrysler Building in New York City and traded it to Cooke. Negotiations nearly fell through at the last minute when an investor dropped out, leaving Buss to scramble for more money, including a $1 million loan from Mariani's friend Donald T. Sterling, who would later purchase the L.A. Clippers. Once again, Buss was leveraged to the hilt, as he was at the start of his real estate career. Once again, he was taking a risk. The NBA _ the "sport of the '70s" _ had fallen by the wayside. Several teams stood on the brink of bankruptcy, CBS was broadcasting finals games on tape delay instead of live, and there were reports of rampant drug use among players. But to Buss, the Lakers looked like a gem in the coal bin. Seven years removed from their last title, they had a dominant center in Abdul-Jabbar and were poised to select the effervescent Johnson out of Michigan State in the 1979 NBA draft. Buss added something more to the mix: a vision for the future. He did not pretend to know much about X's and O's, so he hired Jack McKinney, a coach who favored running, to introduce an up-tempo brand of basketball. Next came a live band to perform with the Laker Girls during timeouts. Celebrities began showing up for games, encouraged by the management. The list of Hollywood regulars would grow to include Denzel Washington, Dyan Cannon, Leonardo DiCaprio and Penny Marshall. Jack Nicholson cemented his position as the No. 1 fan, seated courtside, close to the visiting team's bench so he could needle opponents. "Jerry Buss is always thinking in terms of putting a show on," said Lon Rosen, the former Lakers publicist who became Johnson's agent. "Everything the Lakers do, everything is planned." So there were always two sides to Buss. People closest to him saw an astute businessman, an owner who boosted revenues by raising the cost of premium seats while giving everyday fans a better deal in the upper sections of the arena. "At heart, he's a mathematician," said Steiner, his longtime public relations manager. "He always told me, 'Work the numbers. No matter what common sense may tell you, work the numbers.'" But much of the world saw him as a maverick, a rich man who acted like one of the guys. "I saw him walking in with these jeans on," Johnson recalled of their first meeting. "I said, 'This man's got all this money?'" This unpretentious style helped Buss, divorced and known as a playboy, forge close relationships with many of his players. After games, he transformed the Forum's press lounge into a late-night party spot, entertaining athletes, reporters and young women while announcer Chick Hearn poured drinks at the bar. Buss said: "Just because I'm a public figure doesn't mean I don't get to live my life the way I want." Success came quickly. With former Lakers star Jerry West maturing into one of the most gifted general managers in the league, the team won an NBA championship in Buss' first season. "You don't know how long I've waited for this moment," Buss told his players in the locker room afterward. The good times lasted almost a decade as Johnson, Abdul-Jabbar and Michael Cooper guided the Lakers to five titles. But no team can stay on top forever, and the franchise struggled through much of the 1990s. Buss stopped hanging around so much, and the front office became more bureaucratic. West was obliged to train and consult with the owner's son Jim, who was given the title of assistant general manager. It took some bold moves to turn things around. West tore the roster apart in the summer of 1996, trading center Vlade Divac and reducing the payroll enough to make a run at O'Neal, who was nearing the end of his contract with the Orlando Magic. As negotiations stalled, West wondered if the team should settle for Plan B, signing another center, Dikembe Mutombo, and a big power forward in Dale Davis. Buss insisted that his general manager keep pursuing O'Neal, so West traded away two more players, creating enough salary cap room to give O'Neal the $118 million offer he demanded. The final months of Buss' life were not a particularly happy time for the Lakers. Last summer, the team made headlines with another pair of blockbuster moves, paying tens of millions to acquire free agents Howard and Steve Nash. With Buss' health failing, there was much speculation about who ran the operation, him or his son Jim. The questions grew louder as the team stumbled out of the blocks, firing Coach Mike Brown and bypassing Jackson to hire Mike D'Antoni. Despite their Hall of Fame roster, the Lakers suffered a losing record through the first months of the season and fans grumbled. But the recent struggles cannot overshadow what Buss had done for the franchise. Buss' survivors include his four children from his marriage to JoAnn Mueller: son Jim, executive vice president of player personnel for the Lakers; daughter Jeanie, the team's executive vice president of business operations; another son, John, the Lakers' executive vice president of strategic development; and daughter Janie Buss Drexel, the Lakers' director of charitable services. He is also survived by two children from his relationship with Karen Demel: son Joey, an executive with the Los Angeles D-Fenders, the Lakers' minor-league affiliate; and son Jesse, the Lakers' director of scouting; as well as eight grandchildren. His half-sister Susan Hall of Phoenix, half-brother Mickey Brown of Scottsdale, Ariz., and stepbrother Jim Brown of Star Valley, Wyo., also survive him.
From calling out plays to yelling out defensive assignments, communication is critical in basketball. But most of the time, all five players on the court at least speak English as their first language.
Matt Kamieniecki bent slightly at the waist, clearly favoring his back as he walked gingerly to the bench for a timeout late in Saturday’s game.
Akron’s Rachel Tecca was averaging 18.9 points per game coming into Saturday’s contest against Ball State. She ended the game with 22 points as Akron beat Ball State, 64-52.
After Ball State beat Northern Illinois on Wednesday, freshman guard Marcus Posley tweeted a message concerning the health of Jesse Berry.
Despite the feelings after Sunday’s loss to Toledo, Ball State’s season isn’t over. The women’s basketball team will try to rebound tonight against Akron.
Ball State has found comfort in visiting Mid-American Conference arenas all season long and Wednesday was no different.
Junior guard Jesse Berry never missed a game in his career before Saturday, but one chance was all freshman Marcus Posley needed to stir up some controversy at the off-guard spot.
While it would’ve been easier for Matt Kamieniecki to walk around Nate Hutcheson at midcourt, Ball State’s junior forward chose contact.
Ball State was down just two points to the No. 1 team in the MAC, with a minute to go. Toledo’s Naama Shafir, who was shooting 5-for-18 at that point, was isolated on Shanee’ Jackson, arguably Ball State’s best perimeter defender.
Brandy Woody and Shanee’ Jackson sat in utter silence, seemingly in shock at what had happened a few minutes earlier.
For 20 minutes, Jauwan Scaife walked the the ball up the court and initiated the offense. By the end of the second half, he was the offense.
Ball State is no stranger to big moments this season.
Ball State was ranked second in the MAC in field goal defense. Central Michigan was first in scoring. Something had to give.