By: Connor Onion | @Conion22
Play-by-play voice on SL Radio on WCRD
Member of Ball State Sports Link
Ball State Men’s Basketball (13-8, 4-4) fell to the Akron Zips (17-4, 6-2) at Worthen Arena. Here are three takeaways from Saturday’s 73-64 loss:
Akron Is As Good As Advertised
Over the past 10 seasons, Akron is one of five Division I teams who have won 21+ games each year. The Zips are in elite company joining Duke, Gonzaga, Kansas and Ohio State.
With Saturday’s 73-64 win over Ball State, they are well on their way to an 11th straight 21-win season improving to 17-4 in 2015-16. The victory also moved Akron (6-2) into a tie for first place in the Mid-American Conference East Division.
Ball State head coach James Whitford’s concern coming into the game was Akron’s ability to play inside-out basketball.
Akron was efficient both inside and outside Saturday as 3-point specialist Reggie McAdams scored a team-high 15 points, while 6-fot-10, 295-lb. center Isaiah Johnson bullied his way to 13 points.
Jeremie Tyler Can Soar, Continues to Sizzle
First things first, Jeremie Tyler put Akron’s Antino Jackson on a poster in the first half:
On back-to-back Saturdays, Tyler has notched a new season-high. After 17 points last week against Eastern Michigan, Tyler struggled mightily against Buffalo Tuesday going 0-5 from the field.
He bounced back Saturday afternoon, exploding for 18 points on four three-points makes and the thunderous dunk above.
Turnovers Killing the Cards
Leading up to the 2015-16 season, Ball State was dismal at protecting the basketball over the past three seasons.
In each of those campaigns the Cardinals were among the bottom 45 teams in the country in turning the ball over, including coughing it up on an astounding 25% of possessions during Coach Whitford’s first season in 2013-14.
Through much of the non-conference slate this season, the Cardinals did a superb job protecting the ball, ranking in the top 100 nationally during the months of November and December.
Recently, however, the turnover bug has crept back. Over the past three games Ball State has turned the ball over 62 times, including 18 miscues Saturday.
Staying in the East
Ball State will return to action Tuesday with a 7 p.m. tip at Bowling Green as the conference schedule reaches its midway point.