Ohio was 7-1 at home this season, and Ball State had not won at the Convocation Center since 2010. But the Cardinals executed at a high level in the second half Tuesday on the way to a 75-68 Mid-American Conference victory.
Ball State (11-5, 2-1 MAC) bounced back from . . .
Ohio (8-7, 1-2 MAC) dropped its seconds MAC decision in three outings.
The game’s key stretch was a 12-0 Ball State run that turned a 43-38 deficit into a 50-43 lead with 12:16 to play. Kyle Mallers drilled a pair of 3-pointers during that stretch and came up with a big offensive rebound that led to a bucket from Tahjai Teague.
“I thought we wore them down a little bit,” Ball State head coach James Whitford said. “We were able to go defense to offense. We got stops and were able to get out in transition. We talked a lot after the Buffalo game about getting our pace back on offense, and I thought our pace was much better today.”
Ball State led the rest of the way, although Jordan Dartis answered back with two 3-pointers of his own as the Bobcats rallied to pull within two.
Twice in a two-possession game down the stretch, Jeremie Tyler knocked down 3’s from the top of the key to give BSU some breathing room. The Cardinals also went to Moses, who was able to score in the paint and at the line.
Moses finished with 16 points, 11 rebounds and four assists, while Tayler Persons also scored 16. Mallers (14) and Tyler (13) reached double figures, as well.
“Trey was great,” Whitford said. “We got it in there to him a lot more than we had, and he delivered. He was a big difference in the game. I thought Tayler really did a good job. It was his movement on pick and rolls that initiated the action, and I thought he played like a true point guard.”
Ball State generated good looks in the first half but just couldn’t get its shots to fall. The Cardinals were 2 for 11 from the 3-point line over the opening 20 minutes as the Bobcats outscored them 15-6 from beyond the arc.
BSU took the lead midway through the half, but Ohio grabbed it back on a buzzer-beating three from James Gollon to lead 31-29 at the break.
Ball State shooting picked up in the second half. The Cardinals were 15 for 26 from the floor and 5 for 11 from 3-point range on the way to their third straight road win.
“I thought we played the game the right way,” Whitford said. “I thought we really shared the ball. The ball popped on offense, got in and out. It’s a big win for us.”
Tuesday’s game was the first in a stretch that will see Ball State play six out of eight games on the road. The Cardinals will visit Western Michigan for a 4:30 p.m. tip Saturday.
Ohio is at Kent State (7 p.m. ET).
(Courtesy of BSU Athletics)