In the last seven meetings between Ball State (6-11, 1-4 MAC) and Miami (12-4, 4-2) the Cardinals were able to handle the RedHawks, but Saturday it was a different story.
Miami came up on top in a nail-biter beating Ball State 60-57 making it the Cardinals third-straight loss and their fourth conference loss of the season. Here are a few key aspects that stood out from the matchup.
Brown dominates down low
When Ball State needed a point, it looked towards sophomore forward Oshlynn Brown’s way and got a bucket. Brown started off the game hot, scoring 12 points in first half, and finished strong leading the Cardinals with 24 total points. No other Cardinal was able to notch double-digit points in the contest.
Brown was aggressive and was able to get good positioning in the paint throughout the game. Her shot was efficient as she used her post moves to get some open looks. She made 10-16 from the field making most of her shots down low, however, she did at times step-out to the mid-range area and knock some jumpers down.
Brown’s attacking style of play led to her being sent to the free throw line a few times and she made them count making 4-5 of the freebies.
The forward was also active on the glass grabbing a team-high 10 rebounds securing her 12th double-double of her college career.
Ball control is key
Turnovers came back to haunt the Cardinals at the end. Ball State had a chance to either tie or take the lead with 20 seconds remaining in the game, but the Cardinals committed their 21st turnover giving the RedHawks the opportunity to push their lead to three points.
At times, Miami’s pressure was able to cause Ball State to make some mental mistakes leading to them giving the RedHawks extra possessions. On the other side, Miami controlled the ball well, limiting their turnovers to just 13 on the game.
Ball State has struggled this season with turning the ball over as they average 18.6 turnovers per game.
Too much Dickerson and Kluesner
Ball State didn’t have an answer for Miami’s duo of junior guard Lauren Dickerson and junior forward Savannah Kluesner. They carried the load for the RedHawks offense as Dickerson finished with a team-high 24 points and Kluesner added 18 points. Dickerson also recorded her first career double-double as she snatched a game-high 11 rebounds. Kluesner picked up 7.
Kluesner and Ball State’s forward Brown were battling back-in-forth as both guarded each other on each end and they continued to trade buckets.
Tale of two halves
In a game that involved 16 lead changes, the Cardinals had more efficient play in the first half, while the RedHawks was able to get things going in the second half.
Ball State was able to finish the half shooting 46 percent from the field and only committed 9 team turnovers. In the second quarter the Cardinals were able to go on a 16-8 run giving them a 29-26 advantage at the half. The Cardinals held the RedHawks to a slower start as their shots weren’t falling as consistent as they would like only shooting 33 percent from the field.
However, Miami turned things around shooting 50 percent from the field in the second half and held Ball State to just 35 percent from the field and forcing them to commit 11 turnovers.
Contact Daric Clemens with any comments at firstname.lastname@example.org or on Twitter @DClemens.