“That was old school.”
That’s how head Coach Brady Sallee explained the Cardinals second conference win over the Golden Flashes 48-44 that snapped their three-game losing streak.
“As ugly as it was on offense at times it was a whale of a basketball game because you had two teams out there really competing,” Sallee said. “I told our team, you better be ready to compete and our team has been built towards being able to come out and win a game like this.”
Ball State struggled to find their groove on the offensive end throughout the contest, nonetheless, they made sure that Kent State was never able to get a rhythm offensively.
The Cardinals made everything difficult for the Golden Flashes as they hunkered down and applied continuous pressure on the ball handler once they crossed half-court. Ball State held Kent State to 16-67 from the field and the Golden Flashes weren’t able to get their offense going from deep either shooting 4-28 behind the arc.
“They couldn’t score in the paint and they were struggling to hit outside shots, so we just kept getting tighter and tighter with what we were doing,” Sallee said.
The 44 points that the Cardinals gave up to the Golden Flashes is the least amount of points they have given up all season.
Kent State also caused some problems for Ball State as they held the Cardinals to just 32 percent shooting from the field and only 7 percent from the three-point line. However, Sallee has stressed the importance of toughness to the Cardinals throughout the season and he felt the Cardinals brought it Wednesday.
“I was trying to help them and get them some easy looks, but Kent State wasn’t going to give them to us, so we just had to settle on being tough, winning 50/50 plays and rebounding,” Sallee said. “Down the stretch we just made hustle plays.”
With 1:50 remaining the Cardinals controlled a four-point lead after a scoring splurge from sophomore forward Oshylnn Brown and senior guard Nakeya Penny snatched the ball away from a Kent State guard, which eventually lead to the game being closed out by Ball State.
“That’s the toughness stuff that you have to do in a game like this to win it,” Sallee said. “That was a tough physical basketball game and I am glad we were at home and I am we showed the toughness to win that one.”
Contact Daric Clemens with any comments at firstname.lastname@example.org or on Twitter @DClemens.