Ball State (5-8, 0-1 MAC) and Toledo (9-3, 1-0 MAC) traded scoring runs throughout their contest Saturday. The Rockets were able to take control and hold off the Cardinals, 65-58.
“I’m really proud of the fight,” said Ball State head coach Brady Sallee. “We gave ourselves a chance to win in a tough place, and if a couple of breaks go our way and it’s a different outcome.”
It took a while for both teams to get going after the tip-off. Toledo started to find some rhythm in the second quarter and built a lead going into halftime, outscoring Ball State, 33-24.
The Rockets’ defense put pressure on the Cardinals early, resulting in 12 turnovers in the first half. The Cardinals ended the game with 22 total turnovers.
“They are good at a lot of different positions, and they just turned us over,” Sallee said. “You give them credit, you learn from it as a team and we will get better because of it.”
Ball State flipped the switch to start the second half as it went on a 9-0 run to tie the game up at 33. Toledo responded with a run of their own and finished the third quarter outscoring the cardinals, 19-10.
“We dug ourselves a hole a couple times, but then the players played their way through it, and that’s the fight that I’m talking about that I am proud of,” Sallee said. “A lot of times you get in that situation in a hostile environment and it can go the other way, but it didn’t with us.”
The Cardinals continued to fight and made runs to cut into the lead in the fourth quarter. However, Rockets guard Nakiah Black was too much for the Cardinals, and Toledo was able to maintain control until the final buzzer. Black finished with a game-high 19 points, and she knocked down five 3-point attempts.
Ball State was led by sophomore forward Oshlynn Brown. She scored 15 points and grabbed nine rebounds. Sophomore guard Maliah Howard-Bass added 12 points, and senior guard Jasmin Samz put up 11 points and dished out five assists.
Ball State will host Bowling Green Wednesday, Jan. 9 at 11 a.m.
Contact Daric Clemens with any comments at email@example.com or on Twitter @DClemens.