(Quick post mortum: After I returned home, I had an email from one of the people in Tennessee Martin’s Sports Information office, that said that Coach James appreciated my coverage and that had he know I was there he would have spoke to me after the game. I appreciate the thought, and I understand that sometimes that last thing you want to do after a tough loss is talk about it to the media. Jason James is a class act, hands down)
After UT Martin’s loss to Lamar, head coach Jason James told me, “anyone can score.”
After today’s game? I would love to have asked, but James didn’t take questions after the game.
Ball State would ride a 16-1 run midway through the game on their way to a 71-48 win over the Skyhawks.
Leading scorer Mike Liabo was on the bench after suffering a concussion against Central Arkansas, and it was obvious how much he was missed. The Skyhawks hit just over 25% from the field in the first half, including going 2-13 from 3-point range. One thing that doesn’t show up on the stat sheet: how many of those shots were good shots, and just missed.
But their defense held about as well as you could ask, holding the Cardinals to just 7-19 shooting from the field in the first 16 minutes. At the under 4 media timeout, the game was tied at 18.
Then the wheels fell off.
The Skyhawks go completely silent over the last 4 minutes, allowing Ball State to go on a 7-0 run to end the 1st.
But considering how bad the offense had played, going into the half down 25-18 wasn’t all that bad.
Only things would soon get much, much worse. The Cardinals scored 14 points before the 1st media timeout in the second, and pushed the lead to 17.
The rout was on. Again.
After going just 3-4 from the field in the first half, Jarrod Jones finished with 22 points on 8-11 shooting for the Cardinals. As a team, Ball State hit 18-25 from the field, 7-8 from 3-point range in the second half, finishing the game 51% from the field despite hitting just 33% in the 1st half.
Recently benched starter Troy King had one of his better performances, finishing with a team high 16 points, but went just 6-15 from the field, and 3-10 from three.
Just 4 games left for the Skyhawks to get things on track before conference play starts against currently undefeated Murray State. They travel to Nashville to play Lipscomb Tuesday night.