Tayler Time: Persons Third Game-Winner Beats Bowling Green

By Published: 2/7/2018 6:46:22 AM Custom Tag

Cardinals win 59-56 to improve to 11-1 at home this season

Courtesy: Tyson Mathews | Ball State Athletics

MUNCIE, Ind. -- If once is an accident, twice is a coincidence and three times is a trend … then we have officially reached trend status for Tayler Persons.

The junior point guard drained his third game-winning 3-pointer of the year with 1.3 seconds left Tuesday night as the Ball State men's basketball team defeated Bowling Green 59-56 at Worthen Arena.

Persons scored 15 points and handed out five assists to lead the Cardinals (15-9, 6-5 MAC) to their third win in the past four games.

Ball State rallied to take its first lead of the second half with four minutes to play on the way to snapping a two-game winning streak for Bowling Green (14-10, 5-6 MAC).

Ball State Head Coach James Whitford:
"I thought the last 12 minutes we amped up the intensity and played really hard. We missed some free throws and had some plays not go our way, but I thought our intensity in that stretch was outstanding, and that was the difference in the game."

"When we started this game flat after the last game, I was deeply disappointed. But in the end, I thought we played as hard as we've played all year with enthusiasm. I thought we had very flat (play) and then excellent, some of our best basketball, within the same game. We have to become more consistent in that."

Tayler Persons on the Game-Winner:
"It feels amazing, obviously. But to be honest, I'm just glad we dug that one out. We were losing the whole game … We love being here, we love being in front of our fans. We have a great crowd. It feels good to be home and just to get a win.

Inside the Numbers
• This was Persons' third game-winner of the year. He hit 3's from virtually the same spot on the floor to beat then-No. 8 Notre Dame and Valparaiso in back-to-back games in December. Six times this year, Persons has scored to tie or give Ball State the lead in the final 20 seconds.

• After shooting 1 for 11 from beyond the arc in the first half, Ball State made 5 of 9 in the second. Persons had three of those.

• Conversely, Bowling Green made 6 of its first 13 from 3-point range and then hit just one of its final 12 attempts.

• Junior center Trey Moses scored 12 points and handed out five assists. He now has 190 assists for his career, the third-most of any non-guard in school history.

• Tahjai Teague scored 11 points, grabbed nine rebounds and recorded three steals, while Sean Sellers stuffed the stat sheet for seven points, seven boards, two assists, two steals and two blocks.

• Walk-on guard Josh Thompson matched his career-high with 13 minutes off the bench and made his first career field goal on a transition bucket in the first half.

How It Happened
• Ball State trailed 33-27 at the break and faced its biggest deficit at 45-37 with 11:30 to play.

• Persons pulled the Cardinals within one at 49-48 on a 3-pointer with 7:53 left, and Sellers gave BSU its first lead of the second half at 54-53 on a trey of his own with 3:59 left.

• A pair of free throws from Moses pushed the lead to three, but Bowling Green's Justin Turner hit the Falcons' only 3 of the second half to tie the game at 56 at the 2:14 mark. That was the last bucket for either team until Persons' game-winner.

• Bowling Green's Dylan Frye was nearly the hero, but his 3-pointer with 11 seconds left rimmed out, and the Cardinals got the final shot. Persons worked around a high ball screen from Moses and found nothing but net.

Up Next
• Ball State will host Kent State for a 9 p.m. tipoff Friday in a nationally televised game on ESPNU. The game was originally scheduled for Saturday but was moved for television.

Published: 2/7/2018 6:46:22 AM Custom Tag