Coming into the game, the Ball State Cardinals were undefeated and getting noticed with a top 25 vote. Central Michigan was one of the favorites coming into the season and even though they were on a losing skid, there were no alarm bells going off. Their place in the conference race was assured.
Even though the Cardinals were shooting well on the season, they started this game on their home floor ice cold. They left no shot unmissed, bricking threes and layups alike. However, they hustled and kept the game close.
By the third quarter, all that hard work that wasn’t paying off started to wear on the Cardinals as they just couldn’t get the ball into the bucket. They didn’t break on the open shooters quite like they did the rest of the game. The Chippewas built up a 12 point lead going into the final period.
Good defense and easy buckets fueled a Cardinals comeback almost immediately. By the 7:34 mark, they were only down 4. By the 5:22 mark, they were tied. The two teams battled the rest of the way before Central Michigan pulled out the victory, 69-65, largely because Presley Hudson knocked down a big three.
Both teams have a lot to look forward to on the season.
On the Central Michigan side, they are going to be a tough out for any team. They have a great point guard in Hudson, who can score from anywhere. They have a couple of twin towers in Tinara Moore and Reyna Frost. Moore finishes with an impressive 13 points and 14 rebounds. Frost finished with a ridiculous 23 points and 19 rebounds. Cassie Breen, who’s three pointers kept Ball State at bay most of the game, dove into the scorers table and looked injured, but made her way back onto the court by the end of the game.
On the Ball State side, even though they were ice cold most of the game, they competed with one of the best teams in the conference. The Cardinals only shot 32% from the floor and 15% from beyond the arch, but were still tied with 1:38 to go. They got some nice play from freshman Maliah Bass-Howard in the clutch, too. The Cardinals’ two best players combined to go 10 for 42 from the floor, and they only lost by 4. Coming into the game, I felt a Ball State win would really announce their contention for the MAC crown. After this loss, I am even more convinced.