The Ball State Cardinals (7-4) lost their final game of the season against an in-state rival on Tuesday, with a 73-61 defeat at the hands of the Indiana State Sycamores (6-6).
The Sycamores took the lead from Ball State a little more than eight minutes into the game and led the rest of the way, successfully thwarting all Cardinal comeback attempts. Indiana State pushed the lead to nine at halftime and led by as many as 14 in the second half. Spanning the half, the Cardinals went nearly eight minutes without a field goal.
Ball State again got solid production from its front court. Franko House led the way with 15 points. Bo Calhoun chipped in 10 and pulled down 7 boards. Freshman Trey Moses turned in another solid effort with 7 points and a season high 5 rebounds in 22 minutes.
Offensively the guard play wasn't awful. Jeremie Tyler scored 13 and Jeremiah Davis added 10, but Ball State was unable to overcome a frigid night from Naiel Smith. The junior connected on just one of eight shot attempts and missed all four tries from behind the arc.
Defensively it was the worst game for Ball State since allowing 89 in a loss to Eastern Kentucky on November 20th. Brenton Scott hit 6 of 10 shots from the field and led the Sycamores with 19 points. Khristian Smith scored 17, Matt Van Scyoc added 15. Smith led Indiana State on the glass with 8 rebounds.
It was the third straight win for Indiana State, who improved to 3-2 at the Hulman Center. The win was the 100th in head coach Greg Lansing's career who's in his 6th season leading the Sycamores. The game was also the third straight in which Indiana State has scored 73 or more.
Ball State is back in action a week from today. The Cardinals will host the Alabama A&M Bulldogs at Worthen Arena. Indiana State's next game will be a stiff road test when they travel to Evansville for a matchup with the Aces.