Freshmen Jeremie Tyler and Sean Sellers both led the way as Ball State (1-1) overcame a slow start to pound IU-Kokomo (1-4 NAIA), 101-62.
The Cards shot over 60% from the field on Monday night and were knocking down shots early and often. But in the opening stages Kokomo responded punch-for-punch and the NAIA-level Cougars hung with BSU throughout the beginning of the first half.
Eight minutes in, Ball State held a 21-16 lead and the Cougars had battled hard and shot well to put up a fight. But then the Cardinals used a huge 41-14 run to take a commanding 62-30 halftime lead and ending any chance at the upset.
Tyler led all scores with 23 and was one of four different Cardinals to get into double-figures, including star point guard Zavier Turner who chipped in 11. After scoring a game-high 26 points at Utah on Friday, Sellers came off the bench and had another big game for the Cards, scoring 18 in the snoozer.
Kokomo had been known to play small coming in, and the Cougars couldn't handle Ball State's size throughout the game. Their tallest player is 6-9 freshman Micah Pier, who added 13 in the losing effort.
BSU outscored the Cougars in the second half 39-32, with Ball State reaching the century mark late into the second half on a pair of Mading Thok free throws, which were his only two points on the night.
Ball State is off until Saturday, when the Cards take on the 0-2 IUPUI Jaguars, while IU-Kokomo travels to take on another NCAA-level opponent, this time in the form of Division II Oakland City.