Tayler Persons opened the scoring before the two teams battled the entire first half. The Crusaders stretched the lead to 6 at one point, but the Cardinals were always within range before closing to 31-29 at the half.
In the second half, the Cardinals were on fire from the jump. A Tayler Persons’ layup gave them an 11 point lead a little over 5 minutes in. The Crusaders came storming back, eventually stretching their own lead to 7 on a Bakari Eveyln jumper. The two teams battled the rest of the way before Persons closed it out for the Cardinals. He scored the team’s last 10, including a three with just 3 seconds left that gave Ball State the 71-70 win.
Tayler Persons led all scorers with 23 on 9 of 17 shooting. He also added 5 rebounds and 5 assists. Trey Moses continued to get more minutes as he recovers from injury, and added 10 points, 7 rebounds, 6 assists, and a couple of blocks. Jeremie Tyler added 10 points and three steals off the bench.
The Crusaders were led by Joe Burton with 17 and move to 8-2 on the season.
The Cardinals’ non-conference schedule finally lets up a bit as they take on the North Florida Ospreys. They close it out with Jacksonville State and Florida A&M before their first conference game against Eastern Michigan.