Jeremie Tyler led five double-figure scorers for the Cardinals (2-2) with 18 points, while Rocco Belcaster knocked down his first four treys of the night on his way to a career-high 15 points. Franko House and Sean Sellers finished with 12 points each, while Bik Gill added a career-high 11.
Ball State moved the ball well, recording 23 assists on 30 made baskets, led by Sellers with six assists and Kaleb Mallory with five. Mallory and Francis Kiapway shared the point guard duties for the Cardinals, who had only 10 turnovers against Grambling State (1-3) after giving it away 25 times Saturday in an overtime loss at IUPUI.
Kiapway scored eight points and knocked down a pair of 3-pointers of his own in his second career game after missing time early because of injury. The 14 3-pointers were the most by a Ball State team since the 2006 season and two shy of the school record.
“Francis did a very good job of being poised,” Whitford said. “He didn’t play too fast; he kind of set the tone. There were a couple chances where he could have tried to make home run plays and he didn’t. He really controlled the rhythm and the tempo of the game, and I thought Kaleb did a good job with it, too.”
Ball State won the battle on the boards for the third straight game, outrebounding Grambling State by a 35-23 margin. Matt Kamieniecki had a game-high 13 rebounds just two days after grabbing a career-high 15 boards at IUPUI.
The Cardinals finished the night shooting 54.5 percent from the floor (30 for 55) and 50 percent from beyond the arc (14 for 28). Grambling State was able to score 36 points in the paint, but the Tigers shot 1 for 8 from 3-point range as the Cardinals outscored them 42-3 from distance.
Ball State is now off until a Dec. 3 road game at Eastern Illinois. The Cardinals will return home Dec. 6 to host Indiana State at Worthen Arena.
(Courtesy of BSU Athletics/MRO Edit)