(BALL STATE RELEASE)
MUNCIE – After not playing for 10 days, the Ball State men’s basketball team couldn’t survive a hot Bowling Green team Tuesday night in a 75-62 loss at Worthen Arena. After beating league leader Toledo on Feb. 6, the Cardinals returned to face a team they had beaten a month ago but couldn’t repeat the feat.
Justin Turner scored 27 points for Bowling Green (12-9, 8-7), which was also coming off a win over Toledo this past weekend. Kaden Matheny added 21 for BG, which was +8 on the offensive glass and forced 23 BSU turnovers.
Ball State (7-10, 5-7), which led 35-34 at halftime, got 11 points each from K.J. Walton, Ishmael El-Amin and Jarron Coleman.
TURNING POINT: The game featured 14 lead changes as the two teams traded punches for 32 minutes of game time. An El-Amin jumper pulled BSU to within 58-54 at the 7:42 mark, but BG pulled away right there. The visitors scored the next 12 points to go up 70-54. Bowling Green then controlled the clock the rest of the way to leave Muncie with a win.
STRAIGHT FROM THE HEAD COACH: “Credit Bowling Green, they played like a championship team tonight,” Whitford said. “They were the tougher team physically and mentally. They were outstanding defensively and very physical. When they made a run in the second half, we were like a deer in the headlights. We were getting frustrated on the court with the whistles. On offense we were choppy. I’m watching us in practice and we’re moving the ball and playing the right way. Tonight the ball was stopping a lot. And that’s part of not having played…that will sort itself out.”
HIATUS…BUT GUYS ARE BACK: Ball State has had four games postponed – two home and two away. A couple games are expected to be rescheduled soon. More importantly, the roster is starting to become full again and the Cardinals have a few weeks to come together and peak at the right time.
“We’re constantly remaking our team. The chemistry of our team is in a good place,” Whitford said. “I think this group will put it together. This is the team we wanted to have and we need to put it together in the next couple weeks.”
UP NEXT: BSU has a nationally-televised game at home this Friday night. The Cards host Akron at 7 p.m. on CBS Sports Network.