The Cardinals were down late in the game but were able to overcome a fourth-quarter deficit and escape with a win.
Ball State Women’s Basketball (5-5, 3-3 MAC) went on the road and stole a victory against Ohio (5-4, 3-3 MAC), 88-85.
The Cardinals were down seven headed into the fourth, but put their foot on the gas and went on a 19-10 run to force overtime. In the extra period, it was a repeat of what the night had been. The teams went back and forth, with several heaves from downtown or turnovers in the halfcourt.
However, Ball State was able to finish the job. Head Coach Brady Sallee praised the team for how they fought against a physical opponent.
“We knew what we had to do,” Sallee said. “As a coach, when you see your team play that hard, it’s exciting. At the end of the day, we had to be a tougher team.”
Redshirt sophomore guard Anna Clephane stole the show offensively, finishing with a career-high 24 points. The sophomore guard shot an efficient 9-of-12 from the field. Clephane also made her presence felt at the charity stripe, shooting 6-of-7. She grabbed six rebounds, three of which were on the offensive end, which Sallee mentioned as a big part of her offensive success.
“The crazy thing is I did not call a play for her,” Sallee said. “She came out of nowhere and got rebounds and easy points. We fed off her energy and tempo.”
Senior forward Oshlynn Brown continued her production down low with 21 points and 19 rebounds. This performance was good enough to earn the senior forward her fifth straight double-double. Sallee understands how big of an advantage Brown gives them in the paint, especially against undersized teams, like Ohio.
“We understood where our advantage was,” Sallee said. “We got the ball where it needed to go, which was inside.”
Sophomore guard Sydney Freeman and junior forward Thelma Dis Agustsdottir also scored in double figures. Freeman came to play in every facet of the game, and it showed in her final line. Freeman finished with 16 points, six rebounds and five assists. The same can be said for Dis Agustsdottir, who added 13 points, five rebounds and four assists.
The Cardinals committed a season-high 35 turnovers. Despite this total, the team was able to make up for it in the rebounding department. Ball State outrebounded the Bobcats 51-31.
“We smacked them on the boards,” Sallee said. “That ended up offsetting it. I will take the toughness and the way we got it done.”
For Ohio, Caitlyn Kroll led the way with 20 points. She did most of her damage from deep, finishing 6-for-10 from three.
The Cardinals will hit the floor again Saturday, Jan. 16 at 5 p.m, against Buffalo (8-3, 5-1 MAC). Ball State swept last season’s series with the Bulls. Sallee believes it will take a stronger performance than tonight to defeat Buffalo.
“Another one that will demand toughness,” Sallee said. “We are going to have to be physically tougher than we were tonight.”
Contact Charleston Bowles with comments at firstname.lastname@example.org or on Twitter @cbowles01.