BY SHAEMUS KREIDER | Ball State Sports Link
The Ball State Cardinals were victorious in their preseason exhibition, winning 92-76 over the University of Indianapolis Nov. 2. But the game was not without its tense moments.
UIndy, who knocked off Valparaiso just a night before, came out firing on all cylinders, equalling the Cardinals pound for pound in the early going. The pace of the game was dictated by the Greyhounds, and by halftime the score was knotted 51-51.
“Defensively, we struggled a bit, they spread the floor with their quick guards,” junior forward Kyle Mallers said after the game. He led the offense with 25 points and five triples.
The Greyhounds shot 51 percent from the floor in the first half, but the Cardinals defense turned their night around in the second half, holding UIndy to 25 points on 31 percent shooting in the deciding half.
“The second half, we got our defense right,” Mallers said.
On a night where the defense was a work in progress, Ball State showed the depth and power of its offense.
The Cardinals were without two All-MAC seniors, Tayler Persons and Trey Moses, who is still recovering from a knee injury.
Despite the absence of the Cardinals duo, the offense did not miss a beat.
The Cardinals had two players with over 20 points. Tahjai Teague tore up the paint, chipping in 20 points and nine boards to compliment Kyle Mallers‘ stellar 25.
Newcomer K.J. Walton showed Worthen his versatility, adding an athletic 15 points. Freshman Jarron Coleman came off the bench to chip in nine in his first action in Cardinal and White.
Indianapolis spread the scoring among a variety of players, with four in double figures. They were led by Trevor Lakes for the second straight game with 15. In the interior, forward Jesse Kempson pitched in 11 points and six rebounds.
UIndy has a week off before they open the 2018 slate, taking a trip to Michigan for the GLIAC/GLVC Challenge. It plays Northwood Friday, followed by the hosts, Saginaw Valley State on Saturday.
The Cardinals will hold their official home opener Tuesday when the Indiana State Sycamores come to Muncie. You can watch the Cardinals and the Sycamores on ESPN+ at 7:00.