Ball State hung around with Eastern Michigan for the majority of the game, getting to within four points after a long 3-point shot by Zavier Turner with 7:29 left. But Eastern Michigan freshman Ray Lee answered with a 3-point shot of his own, and the Cardinals wouldn't threaten the lead again. An alley-oop from Mike Talley to Glenn Bryant put the Eagles up 10 with 1:13 left, shutting the door on Cardinals.
The 2-3 zone by Eastern Michigan caused frustration for Ball State the entire night. Several offensive possessions for the Cardinals resulted in either turnovers, awkward jump shots or long 3-point attempts. The Eagles caused the Cardinals to turn it over 21 times, while only giving the ball over 13 times themselves.
Another major factor in deciding the game was free throws. Eastern Michigan was 25-32 from the line, while Ball State only attempted 10, though they made eight. Despite the loss, the Cardinals out-rebounded the Eagles 35-27.
Freshman standout Ray Lee led the Eagles and all scorers with 24 points. Talley contributed 13 points as well.
Senior Jesse Berry led the Cardinals with 17 points, hitting 5-10 from behind the arc. He also made his 200th and 201st 3-pointers of his career, good enough for third all-time for Ball State. Turner scored 15, senior Chris Bond 12, and Kindon Crowder 10.
Eastern Michigan will host MAC West leaders Toledo Saturday at 2 p.m..
Ball State will host Bowling Green Saturday at 4 p.m..