The Ball State Cardinals just outplayed the Ohio Bobcats, plain and simple. The ladies from Muncie shot 59 percent from the field, and converted on 13-18 from 3-land on their way to a 79-63 win in Athens.
Coach Brady Sallee's squad started fast, playing some fundamental high-low offense where the Cardinals got the ball down low and into the lane often in the game's opening minutes. Repeatedly, guards and wing players got the ball down to Nathalie Fontaine for high-percentage shots around the basket. Fontaine finished the game with 20 points and went 8-11 from the floor.
It was a quick double-digit deficit for the Bobcats who came into the game undefeated at home. Bolden and his 'Cats could not find an answer to the inside play of the Cardinals, and when they tried to make adjustments, Ball State burned Ohio from deep.
It was a dominant display from Ball State, which scored 30 points in the first 10:26 of play. Ohio trailed by as much as 17 but showed some fight heading into the half. The game got as close as 9 points in the second half, but the Cards hit another spurt about five minutes in to ensure that no one would doubt the eventual outcome. 3-pointers in that stretch by Brittany Carter (11 points) and Jill Morrison (19 points) proved to be backbreakers for the Bobcats.
18 assists from Ball State just further demonstrated how smoothly it operated as it made efficient passes around the perimeter and into the post.
Ohio's Kiyanna Black feared no shot, launching 16 3-pointers and hitting five of them on her way to 23 points. Freshman Quiera Lampkins, who has come on quite a bit as of late, hit a team-high seven free throws on 10 attempts as she posted 19 points.
It was the Ohio bigs who had a hard time establishing any sort of an inside game while overmatched by the height and length of the Cardinals. No other Bobcat had more than seven points.
Ohio has an opportunity to get back on the right track they travel to Akron to take on Rachel Tecca and the Zips on Thursday, Jan. 23. With the loss, Ohio fell to 8-8 and 3-2 in the MAC.