Bigs Dominate as Men's Hoops Dispatches Kent State, 87-68

By Published: 2/10/2018 8:34:12 AM Custom Tag

Cardinals take down Golden Flashes for first time since 2005

Courtesy: Tyson Mathews | Ball State Athletics

MUNCIE, Ind. -- Ball State big men Trey Moses and Tahjai Teague combined for 42 points Friday night, helping the Cardinals dominate the paint en route to an 87-68 victory over Kent State in front of a national television audience on ESPNU.

Moses matched his career-high with 22 points as Ball State earned its first victory over the Golden Flashes since 2005. Teague recorded his fifth double-double of the year with 20 points and a career-best 14 rebounds.

Ball State won for the fourth time in the past five games to improve to 16-9 (7-5 MAC). Kent State fell to 12-13 (6-6 MAC) with the loss.

Ball State Head Coach James Whitford:
"Top to bottom for 40 minutes, that would certainly be up there with the best games we've played all year, if not the best. I thought both ends of the floor, intensity, effort, rebounding … were exceptional … Trey was great, and he's shown he can do that for a long time. I thought a huge difference in the game tonight was Tahjai's motor. That's the hardest I've seen Tahjai play in a long time. Seven offensive rebounds in a game is an incredible number."

Inside the Numbers
• Moses (9 for 10) and Teague (8 for 12) combined to shoot 17 for 22 from the floor. Teague hit his first eight shots, and the duo was a combined 15 for 16 at one point fairly late in the game.

• Ball State held a 50-30 advantage in the paint and outrebounded Kent State 39-26.

• Sean Sellers scored 15 points and connected on a trio 3-pointers to bring his career total to 220. He is now just four treys away from Jesse Berry's school record of 224.

• Tayler Persons was held scoreless in the first half on 0-for-5 shooting but scored 13 points after break. He was 5 for 6 from the floor and 3 for 3 from 3-point range in the second half.

• Josh Thompson came off the bench to hit back-to-back 3-pointers as Ball State opened up a double-digit lead midway through the first half. They were the first career 3's for the walk-on guard, who recorded his first collegiate basket three days earlier against Bowling Green. Thompson finished with a career-high eight points in a career-best 20 minutes.

• The Cardinals' 56.7 percent shooting performance as a team was their best in MAC play and their second-highest of the season. The only better performance came in November at Indiana State (61.7 percent).

• On the other end, Ball State limited Kent State's guard duo of Jaylin Walker and Kevin Zabo to a combined 8 for 25 shooting. Danny Pippen led the Flashes with 17 points.

How It Happened
• Ball State opened both halves Friday with 7-0 runs and never trailed.

• Thompson's back-to-back 3's pushed the Cardinals' lead to 26-15 at the 9:37 mark of the first half, and the Cardinals' lead was never fewer than eight points from then on out.

• Ball State hit its first five shots of the break -- a Sellers 3 and four buckets in the paint -- and took total command at 52-34 less than three minutes into the second half.

• Kent State rallied with seven straight points of its own to cut the lead to 52-43, but the Cardinals answered with five in a row and led by double digits the rest of the way.

Up Next
• Ball State will visit Akron for a 7 p.m. tipoff Tuesday. The Cardinals defeated the Zips 111-106 in double overtime back on Jan. 27 in the highest-scoring game in Worthen Arena history.

• The Cardinals will then return home for three straight, starting Saturday, Feb. 17 with a 2 p.m. tipoff against Toledo.
Published: 2/10/2018 8:34:12 AM Custom Tag