Ball State Women’s Basketball (2-7, 0-0 MAC) was unable to stop Vanderbilt (4-5, 0-0 SEC) junior Mariella Fasoula, who tallied 23 points to lead the Commodores to a 60-43 victory in Worthen Arena.
“Fasoula really hurt us,” head coach Brady Sallee said. “We have to learn from that. We’re going to play against other good post players, but she was just a little too much for us today.”
Shot struggles continued to haunt the Cardinals as they went 2-16 from three and 15-49 from the field, while the team also was out-rebounded by 11.
Fasoula, a six-foot five-inch forward, led her team and went 11-16 from the field. Sophomore Autumn Newby also posed as a big threat, grabbing nine rebounds and playing as a key component on the Commodore defense.
The Cardinals’ full-court press gave the Commodore problems on offense, causing eight turnovers in the first half and bringing the Cardinals within five at 26-21 in the second quarter. Both teams capitalized off of the other’s turnovers, the Cardinals scoring nine and the Commodores scoring 14 off of the opponent’s turnovers.
“We’re just going to keep building,” Samz said. “You just have to keep telling yourself to keep executing, offensively and defensively, and continue getting better. Eventually we’ll get to the right spot and win one of these.”
Midway through the second quarter, freshman Anna Clephane exited the game with an apparent injury to her left knee.
Foul trouble for sophomore Oshlynn Brown and a three-point percentage of 12 did not work in the Cardinals’ favor. Junior Jasmin Samz was the only player to register double-digits points with ten; however, their defensive effort kept them in the game, and the team tallied 11 steals throughout the night.
“We played really hard, despite some adversity,” Sallee said. “I can’t fault their effort. We have to work a little bit harder to rebound the ball and keep the ball out of the post, but in terms of sheer effort, we gave it today.”
Tonight was the Cardinals’ second game in a row with a field goal percentage of less than 35, but Sallee said he has faith that the shots will drop eventually.
“I just keep telling them that the shots are going to drop,” Sallee said. “We have to keep getting better looks and trusting each other. When those shots do start to fall, it’s going to look like a whole different squad.”
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