Ball State basketball bonanza ends in double losses Saturday
Fans boo missed foul call at end of men's game
By Rick Yencer
MUNCIE, INDIANA (SPORTS) - That long day of basketball at Ball State's Worthen Arena ended Saturday with the seventh straight loss for the Cardinal's men team at 4-19.
And the women's team, that made it to the Sweet 16 of the WNIT last season, were beat in the first five minuted by Arkon that ran up a 18-0 lead.
For BSU Athletic Director Bill Scholl, it was a long day, especially when the men's team up 64-61 after a three-point shot by giuard Zavier Turner, went on to squander that lead and lose to Bowling Green 66-64.
And senior Jesse Berry, who had a record setting six for nine three point scores with 20 points, talked about losing confidence and needing to finish games as it was the third game this season where Ball State lost by one possession.
Ball State mens coach James Whitford took the blame for among those final plays where Turner tried to put up the ball but was denied by Bowling Green's defense.
"It's killing our confidence," said Berry, about the sevneth straight loss.
And a foul on Turner with just a second to go was not called by a referee and caused fans to boo officiating at the end of the game. Whitford said he did not see the foul and could not say whether it was a missed call.
Like the women, the men started out down 8-0 by strong scoring by Falcon forwards Spencer Parker who finished with 22 and Richaun Holmes who had 17.
But the Cardinals pulled within four at halftime from Berry who had seven of 14 three point shots and then went ahead after nine minutes in the second half with a two point shot by forward Franko House who had 13.
Ball tate stayed in the lead until a three point shot by Holmes tied the game with three minutes to go.
Turner later answered with his own three pointer, but foul shots by Parker and a layup by Falcon guard Anthony Henderson closed out the game.
Bowling Green Coach Lou Orr literally praised God for the win, saying his team hung tough in the end to win. While Ball State has young players like House and Turner, Orr said his team had problems before with center Majok Majok, Berry and forward Chris Bond.
The Ball State women were never really in the game after blown out in the first five minutes 18-0 by Akron.
Akron had five players in double figures including forward Rachel Tecca, who was Mid American Conference East player of the week. Tecca controlled under the basket with 12 rebounds and 13 points.
It was Arkon guard Hanna Luburgh who Ball State could not stop with 22 points.
Ball State senior guard Brandy Woody had a team high of 17 while fellow guard Shelbie Justice had 10.
Sallee said the team had a bad practice this week and had problems Saturday shooting and defending against a tougher Akron team.
The women's team is still 10-13 and 5-7 in MAC play. Last year, they won out at the end of the season and played into the Sweet 16 of the WNIT with Sallee being a first year coach.
The women's game pulled 1,207 fans while the men saw a crowd of 3,414.
As March approaches, Ball State might set out the post season after Saturday's play.