MUNCIE, Ind: The Ball State Cardinals (18-11, 9-7 MAC) had a lackluster performance this past Saturday facing off against Western Michigan (13-15, 9-7 MAC) losing 55-80.
Sadly, it was not Ball State’s day on Saturday when it came time to face off against the Broncos. As important as this game was for the Cardinals to win and maintain control of the Western Division of the Mid-American Conference, they unfortunately couldn’t get the job done. With Western Michigan only being behind one game in the MAC headed into Saturday, this win has put them in position to potentially take the top spot in the division from the Cardinals with the last two games before the tournament.
The Broncos are on a hot streak right now winning their last seven of eight games, after starting the conference schedule 2-6. Western Michigan’s Senior guard Tucker Haymond had a nice outing scoring 21 points shooting 6-8 from the field and 8 of 11 from the foul line, along with 5 rebounds to add to it. Fellow teammates Junior guard Thomas Wilder and Freshman forward Brandon Johnson combined for an added 26 points for the Broncos.
Ball State had its reliable players making plays and getting points as usual, but it still wasn’t enough to control and take the win. Sophomore guard Tayler Persons had a decent night scoring 15 points shooting 7 of 12 from the field, but was fouled out with barely less than five minutes still to go in the second half, and as we all know losing one of your star players in that part of a crucial game never has a good outcome. Senior forward Franko House was the second best performer for the Cardinals knocking in 13 points and snagging 3 rebounds as well, but was far from his usual stat line.
With only two games left in the schedule until tournament time, BSU is going to need to bounce back after this loss and grab a win Tuesday against Toledo if they still want the opportunity to win the MAC as they are now tied for first with Western Michigan.