It was a tough start to the season for Ball State Women’s Basketball (0-1, 0-0 MAC) after suffering an 80-38 loss to Purdue (1-0, 0-0 BIG10) Wednesday.
While the Cardinals went one for 14 from the 3-point line, the culprit of the loss was rebounding. The Boilermakers pulled down 51 rebounds, 21 on the offensive end and 25 on the defensive end, to the Cardinals’ 32. Head coach Brady Sallee said it all comes down to himself.
“It falls completely on me,” Sallee said. “I have to have the team ready to play, and I didn’t. This game did not come down to what it did due to a lack of effort.”
Senior Nakeya Penny was a leading force on the Cardinal squad, recording 13 points and going five for 11 from the field. Following Penny was sophomore Oshlynn Brown with 11 points and three rebounds.
It was a slow start for the Cardinals, ending the first quarter at an 11-point deficit. With Purdue’s five offensive rebounds and solid defensive performance, only Penny and freshman Anna Clephane managed to score. Ae’Rianna Harris and Kayana Traylor led the Boilermakers with four points apiece to put them ahead, 17-6.
“I don’t think we need to hit a reset button,” Sallee said. “We just have to learn and build from it and fall in love with the process.”
Another complication for the Cardinal squad stemmed from the Boilermaker defense and the number of turnovers forced. The Cardinal offense turned the ball over 22 times while the Boilermakers tallied 14.
“There’s things for us to work on, but we’ll go back in tomorrow and work hard just like we have been,” senior guard Jasmin Samz said. “We have to do all of the little things we know that we can do, whether that be rebounding or just mentality staying in it.”
At the half, the Boilermakers had a 38-20 lead, going five for 15 from the 3-point line and grabbing a total of 27 rebounds. Meanwhile, the Cardinals posted a dreadful 30 percent from the free-throw line.
The Boilermakers outscored the Cardinals 18-7 in the third quarter while also grabbing 13 rebounds compared to the Cardinals’ six. Dominique Oden was a major key to the Boilermaker offense. She registered 12 points by the end of the third.
The game closed with a final score of 80-38, putting the Cardinals at an 0-1 start to the season. While Penny led in points, freshman guard Abi Haynes led the team in rebounds with five. Brown shot 75 percent from the free-throw line. Leading the Boilermakers was Oden with 17 points, followed by Karissa McLaughlin with 14. Tamara Farquhar added 13.
“Playing in the game that we just did in that environment will help you to grow up quick,” Sallee said. “By the calendar we’re about three hours older, but experience-wise I think we’re further along than that.”
The Cardinals will return to Worthen Arena Sunday to take on Cleveland State at 2 p.m.
Contact Gabi Glass with comments at firstname.lastname@example.org or on Twitter @GabiGlass.
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