Ball State Women’s Basketball was “Thinking Pink” in their Play4Kay game against Ohio.
Play4Kay is a non-profit for the Kay Yow Cancer Fund. Yow was a coach at North Carolina State from 1975-2009. Yow passed away in 2009 due to breast cancer. The fund is dedicated to supporting women who are fighting all types of cancer and helps to provide hope, courage and strength.
Head coach Brady Sallee said any part Ball State can do for the fund, they will be all in. He said they have done incredible work to raise awareness and keep fighting.
“I told my team that on a night when we're wearing pink, this game demands heart,” Sallee said. “I thought we played with a ton of it tonight. It's just a neat deal across the country to see that the women's basketball community can come together and bring awareness. Let's face it, we've all dealt with cancer at some point, family, friends and people we know. We know what it can do, but we're starting to see some really awesome steps forward. I'm a firm believer that by the time my kids have kids, we're gonna have this thing licked, and to be a small part of that I think is special to all of us in our locker room.”
Sophomore Madelyn Bischoff and graduate student Thelma Dis Agustsdottir echoed their coach’s thoughts. Both of them said the team played with a lot of heart for people associated with cancer.
The Cardinals (22-4, 12-1 MAC) were able to beat Ohio (5-19, 3-10 MAC) with a score of 78-53. Ball State moves to 12-1 in the Mid-American Conference for the first time in program history.
It was an eventful night for one Cardinal in particular, Dis Agustsdottir not only had a career-high in points with 34, but she also moved up to second in program history with three-pointers made and tied the record for threes made in one game with 9.
“It feels good,” Dis Agustsdottir said. “I felt good out there shooting the ball. We were playing fast and it's easy to get open looks and it happened to be tonight.”
Dis Agustsdottir's 34 points came off of 11-for-17 (65 percent) shooting from the field, and 9-for-13 (70 percent) shooting from the three-point line.
Sallee said he did not initially know Dis Agustsdottir was closing in on the three-pointers made in one game at first.
“Finally somebody explained it to me,” Sallee said. “We tried to leave her in there and give her a chance. I think Ohio caught on to it and their kids just started face-guarding her and so at that point, we took her out, but it was evident that she was feeling it. We were calling her number on some stuff, and you can tell when she's got that feeling because the ball is not in her hands too long and she is hunting them. She's had a few of those this year and it is fun to watch.”
Sallee also said that the best part for him was watching Thelma's teammates explode with excitement for her.
Bischoff had another good night, as she had 14 points and was 6-for-11 (55 percent) from the field.
This is the third straight game the Cardinals have forced 20+ turnovers. Today they forced the Bobcats to turn over the ball 26 times.
“It's been through the roof. We have been locked into the plan. Our ability to be scout specific with what we're doing has really helped. These guys are absolutely laser-focused on what it is we have to do and how we're doing it. Most importantly we turned them over underneath out of bounds which is hard to do. We were on top of everything that way.”
Sophomore guard Yaya Felder had 19 points for Ohio and averages 20.6 points per game for the Bobcats.
“Yaya is a hard kid to keep from going cuckoo and we had done a good job in the first half,” Sallee said. “We knew she was going to come out and try to get hers in the second. I think we did a pretty good job on her. She got 19 but had to take 16 attempts and had nine turnovers.”
The Cardinals will be back in action at Northern Illinois (13-11, 5-8 MAC) Feb. 18 at 2 p.m.