Sellers found nothing but net with 15 seconds left. The Cardinals then survived three Eastern Michigan looks on the final possession to post a 60-59 win over EMU
The Mid-American Conference opener win ended two streaks. Eastern Michigan’s 17-game home court winning streak came to an end, while the Cardinals snapped a 20-game road losing streak.
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Eastern Michigan (11-3, 0-1 MAC) came in with the most wins in the league through non-conference play. The Eagles were ranked 14th in the latest CollegeInsider.com Mid-Major Top 25.
Neither team shot the ball well, but Ball State (6-6, 1-0 MAC) found itself trailing 32-23 after a 12-1 Eastern Michigan run to start the second half. The Cardinals fought back and a tip-in from Jeremiah Davis tied the game 50-50 with 49 seconds to go and that proved to be the final basket of regulation.
The game was still tied 57-57 with 28 seconds to play when Mike Talley scored on a driving lay-in to put Eastern Michigan ahead. The Cardinals came back down the floor and Franko House calmly found an open Sellers in the corner for the game-winner.
House provided some critical plays, scoring 10 of his 14 points after halftime, all while he had four fouls. He was able to get the ball near the free throw line in the middle of the Eastern Michigan zone and create offense by attacking the basket.
“Franko made huge plays down the stretch, and that’s what you need against their zone,” Whitford said. “You need someone who can score at the rim. The reason Sean got the three was because Franko had just scored about six straight points in and around the rim.”
Sellers led Ball State with 15 points, while Zavier Turner joined Sellers and House in double figures with 11. Matt Kamieniecki grabbed a game-high 14 rebounds, one shy of his career high.
Raven Lee led Eastern Michigan with 16 points, while Karrington Ward added 15 and Jodan Price 10. Ball State shot only 33.9 percent for the game but held Eastern Michigan to 27.9 percent.
The Cardinals have now won three in a row and return home to continue MAC play Saturday against Central Michigan, which is 11-1 and 1-0 in the league. Tipoff is set for 4:30 p.m. Saturday at Worthen Arena in the second game of a men’s and women’s doubleheader. Eastern Michigan will be at Miami Saturday (5:30 p.m.ET).
(Courtesy of BSU Athletics/MRO Edit)