Ball State Women’s Basketball went out and protected its home court again Saturday against Akron, as the Cardinals were victorious. The Cardinals' 60-52 win extended their unbeaten win streak in Worthen Arena in Mid-American Conference play. Their record now sits a 6-0 at home.
Here are three takeaways from Ball State’s second straight win.
Slow start, strong finish
It was a struggle for the Cardinals from the tip, as the Zips put together a streak of buckets in the first frame. Akron ended the first quarter shooting 52.9 percent from the field and held a 22-12 lead over Ball State.
The Zips found themselves up 13 points in the second quarter, but the Cardinals flipped the momentum in the final six minutes of the half and went on a 15-0 run to tie the contest up going into the break.
Ball State was able to finish the game strong in its play throughout, as it held Akron to only 30 points in the last three quarters of the game. The Zips average 68.3 points per game this season.
The Cardinals didn’t have their best day on the offensive end, as they only shot 33.3 percent from the field, but their defensive play carried them down the stretch, and it showed they can win games in different ways.
Benson showed out
At the end of the game, the Cardinals needed a spark that would push them to the top, and they got it from senior guard Arbrie Benson. She was able to come in and take advantage of her minutes by making many hustle plays for Ball State.
Benson finished the contest with a season-high 10 rebounds, and she grabbed eight of those in the fourth quarter alone. Five of her rebounds came on the offensive end, which led to second-chance opportunities for the Cardinals.
Her play Saturday was one of her best in a Ball State jersey, as she was just two points shy of a double-double, finishing with eight points.
Ball State outrebounded Akron 42-36 while snatching 11 offensive rebounds to the Zips' five. The Cardinals came up with 13 second-chance points in the contest, and Benson played an important role in the additional opportunities.
It was mostly a defensive outing all through, but the Cardinals' play was more impressive, which led them to the win. Ball State was able to lean on their toughness in a physical battle.
The Cardinals' best defensive quarter was in the final frame, as they held the Zips to just two field goals. Akron scored the opening bucket in the fourth quarter and didn’t score a field goal again until the final five seconds of the matchup.
Despite the first quarter, the Cardinals held the Zips to just 29.4 percent shooting from the field in the last three quarters.
It was an all-out defensive performance for the unit. Ball State forced Akron to commit 23 turnovers in the game, which resulted in 18 points on the other end.
Contact Daric Clemens with comments at email@example.com or on Twitter @DaricClemens.