Ball State played their only exhibition of the season against the University of Indianapolis tonight. It’s the first opportunity for coaches to see their players in a live action environment, but it’s something that most coaches don’t take too seriously. That’s probably not the case with the Greyhound’s Stan Gouard. Last season, they played Valpo tough, and took Auburn to overtime in their two exhibition games.
UIndy took BSU by surprise, and jumped out to a 15-2 lead. Regardless of how serious they took the actual game, one thing is certain, both teams wanted to come out of it healthy. Unfortunately for the Cardinals, their worst nightmare happened. Franko House, one of the best players in the MAC, went down 7 minutes into the game, and didn’t return.
After spotting the Greyhounds 13, the Cardinals fought their way back, closing it 20-14 at the 10:23 mark. Taylor Person led the charge, and finished the first half with 8 points and 6 assists. Francis Kiapway got caught in early foul trouble, something I am sure that frustrated the coaches.
BSU took their first lead, 32-31 with 3:55 remaining in the first half. It went back and forth, and they went into the locker room tied.
I wasn’t in the locker room, but I am certain one thing mentioned was for Kiapway to stay out of further foul trouble. That didn’t last 2 minutes in, and he picked up his fourth foul. Coach Whitford left him in the game. If this were a regular season game, I can almost guarantee that wouldn’t happen.
After the Cardinals took a 4 point lead, the Greyhounds took the lead back with 15:09 left in the second half. Back and forth they went for the next 5 minutes, and then BSU went on a run, to take a 4 point lead with 9 minutes left.
At the 7:45 left in the game, Eric Davidson of the Greyhounds hit a three to pull with-in 2. I was listening to the game on the UIndy local radio, and the announcer called him “E D”. He did that several times during the evening. Sorry, I’ll have to interrupt the recap, as my tongue is bleeding.
A minute later, I was back and the score was BSU 56, UIndy 55. After a BSU basket put them up by 3, E D tied it up with a BIG three with 4:55 left. Someone from BSU then hit a three, but I couldn’t see, I had tears in my eyes.
There was a break at the 3:49 mark, and BSU held the lead, 62 to 58. This is what I love about college basketball. If you can get through 37 minutes, and the score is close, there is a great chance you will see the most exciting 3 minutes in sports. The lead was basically the same with 1:31, 66-61. The Greyhounds then had a key possession, and King went for the score, but missed. He felt he was fouled. BSU came away with the ball.
Then came my least favorite thing about basketball. The free throw death march. BSU mostly hit theirs, and was up 70-63 when the game got a little chippy and a double technical was called. You know, to show just how little “exhibition” games mean.
Ball State finished the game with a 74-64 win, which in no way showed how close the game was. For most of the game the stats were nearly identical.
Tahjai Teague, a cousin of the Pacers Jeff Teague, had a good game, with 16 points and 12 rebounds. He missed a few shots, but it’s early in the season and early in his career. He also might not have been expecting as many minutes, save for the House injury. Taylor Persons cooled a bit after a good first half, but ended with a respectable 13 points and very respectable 10 assists. The 6 turnovers need work.