Ball State scored the first 11 points of the extra period and held off the Huskies for a 79-71 victory to take over sole possession of first place in the Mid-American Conference West Division.
Ryan Weber led the . . .
Weber drilled a transition 3-pointer to knot the contest at 61-all – the game’s first tie. It was one of seven treys for the senior from Indianapolis.
The Cardinals (16-10, 7-6 MAC) then got a stop on the other end to force OT. It was just one in a string of key defensive stops down the stretch. Northern Illinois went the final 8 minutes of regulation without a field goal as the Cardinals rallied from eight points down to tie it up.
“We played sloppy for a lot of the game, and the thing I was proud of was we didn’t let that impact our effort on defense,” Ball State coach James Whitford said.
The Cardinals scored the final eight points of regulation and just added to it in overtime, stretching their run to 19-0 before Northern Illinois scored its first points of overtime.
The Huskies (14-12, 6-7 MAC) then scored seven straight to cut the lead to four, but Weber came up with another big three to stretch the lead back to 75-68. The Cardinals were able to seal the game at the free throw line down the stretch.
Jeremie Tyler added 18 points, while Tayler Persons ran the Ball State offense with 13 assists, one shy of his career high. Trey Moses logged his sixth double-double of the season and second straight with 10 points and 12 rebounds.
Freshman Eugene German led Ball State with 20 points, while sophomore forward Levi Bradley reached double figures with 13 points.
Ball State trailed by as many as 11 points in both halves and was down 61-53 before rallying down the stretch to tie it up. The Cardinals overcame 21 turnovers on the night.
Ball State knocked down 14 3-pointers, its most against a Division I opponent this season, including Weber’s seven and four from Tyler.
The Cardinals will return to action Saturday with a 4:30 p.m. tipoff at Central Michigan. They will return home next Tuesday to host Eastern Michigan. Northern Illinois hosts Toledo Saturday (4:30 p.m. ET).
(Courtesy of BSU Athletics)