MUNCIE, Ind. - Junior forward Jarrod Jones (Michigan City, Ind./Michigan City) posted his 10th double-double of the season, and 20th of his career, to help lead the Ball State men's basketball team to a 64-49 victory over Eastern Michigan Wednesday night in Mid-American Conference play at Worthen Arena. The Cardinals broke the game open with a 30-8 second half run as they out-scored the Eagles 40-23 in the second half.
With the win, the Cardinals improve to 16-11 and secure their first winning season since 2004-05 (15-13) while their 16 wins are the most since posting a 23-12 record in 2001-02. Ball State also remains tied with Western Michigan for first place in the MAC West Division with an 8-5 league record and improve to 7-0 this season against the MAC West Division.
"We knew this was going to be a tough game for us," head coach Billy Taylor said. "Our guys came out and just found a way to grind out a victory. We wanted to keep pressure on Eastern Michigan tonight all game long as we had nine guys in double figures minutes. I liked our effort tonight and we just wore them down over the course of 40 minutes."
Jones finished the night with a game-high 18 points, including 11 during a 30-8 second-half run by the Cardinals, while collecting a game-high 14 rebounds. He connected on 6-of-12 from the field and 6-of-8 from the free throw line. Freshman forward Chris Bond (Gary, Ind./Bowman Academy) also scored in double-figures for the Cardinals, chipping in 16 points while adding seven rebounds.
Brandon Bowdry led Eastern Michigan with 17 points and 11 rebounds for his 14th double-double of the year. The Eagles fall to 8-19 on the season and 4-9 in league play. The Cardinals' victory marks their first season series sweep of Eastern Michigan since the 2004-05 season.
Eastern Michigan came out of the gate and opened to a 10-7 lead early on as Bowdry scored eight of the first 10 points for the Eagles, including a pair of three-pointers. The Cardinals battled in the early going until they posted an 8-0 run take a 19-16 lead. Junior guard Randy Davis (Plymouth, Ind./Plymouth) gave the Cardinals the lead with a fast break layup while freshman forward Matt Kamieniecki (Clarkston, Mich./Clarkston) put BSU ahead by three with a 15-foot jumper.
Eastern Michigan responded with seven straight points to take a 23-19 lead with 5:12 left in the half. Bowdry started the run with his third three-pointer while Jamell Harris scored four straight for the four-point lead.
The Cardinal battled back and took a 24-23 lead as Bond was active down low and hit 3-of-4 free throws. The Eagles got a three-pointer from Darrell Lampley with 1:38 left in the half to take a 26-24 lead into the locker room.
Ball State connected on just 30.3 percent (10-of-33) from the field and missed all four of its three-point shots. The Cardinals posted a 21-19 edge on the glass, including 10 offensive rebounds in the first half. Bond led the Cardinals with eight points and five rebounds Jones chipped in six points and four rebounds.
Eastern Michigan connected on 37.5 percent (9-of-24) from the field and 4-of-10 (40%) from long range. Bowdry led the Eagles with 13 points and eight rebounds in the first half while Harris chipped in six points.
After the Eagles came out in the second half and hit two early three-pointers to take a 32-26 lead, the Cardinals responded with a 16-4 run to take a 42-36 edge and force an EMU timeout. Bond ignited the run with four straight points before sophomore guard Jauwan Scaife (Muncie, Ind./Muncie Central) got the Cardinals out in transition.
Junior guard Pierre Sneed (Chicago, Ill./Simeon) and Kamieniecki scored on the fast break to make it eight straight points. Kamieniecki capped the run with a hustle play as he dove for a loose ball and threw a blind behind the back pass from the ground down court to find a streaking Sneed for the easy basket and a 42-36 lead.
The Cardinals broke open the game with a 13-0 run lead to take a 56-40 lead with 6:50 remaining. Jones was the catalyst in the run as he scored six points while Davis hit a three-pointer with the shot clock running down to give the Cardinals a double-digit lead.
Ball State finished the game shooting 38.2 percent (21-of-55) from the field as it scored 26 points in the paint. The Cardinals connected on 80 percent (20-of-25) from the free throw line in the victory while scoring 20 points off of 14 Eastern Michigan turnovers. Ball State also posted a 43-34 advantage on the glass as it dominated the rebounding effort in the second half holding a 22-15 edge.
Davis finished the night with eight points, five rebounds and three assists as he hit the Cardinals' only two three-pointers. Scaife added eight points on the offensive end and notched three steals while posting a career-high two block shots.
Eastern Michigan was held to 32.1 percent (17-of-53) shooting from the field and 31.8 percent (7-of-22) from long range. The Eagles were limited to just 23 second half points as they shot just 27.6 percent (8-of-29) in the second half. Harris chipped in six points as he was the second leading scorer for the Eagles in the loss.
The Cardinals hit the road Saturday night as they head to Mount Pleasant, Mich., for a MAC battled with rival Central Michigan. Game time is set for 6:30 p.m.
Ball State pulls away from Eastern Michigan, 64-49
With the win, the Cardinals improve to 16-11 and secure their first winning season since 2004-05 (15-13) while their 16 wins are the most since posting a 23-12 record in 2001-02.
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