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Ball State Men’s Basketball Shoots Past Grambling

BSULogoPart of me wants to point out the poor choice of words in the BSU media relations lede given the current goings on in Missouri where firefighters are getting shot at, a CNN lady got hit with a rock, and you know, a teenager got shot by a police officer, but that would be blending current events and sports and that seems like more Alan’s bag. So yeah, Ball State men’s basketball beat Grambling. Go Cards!

MUNCIE, Ind. — The Ball State men’s basketball team knocked down 14 3-pointers Monday night and cruised to an 88-46 victory over Grambling State at Worthen Arena.

Jeremie Tyler led five double-figure scorers for the Cardinals (2-2) with 18 points, while Rocco Belcaster knocked down his first four treys of the night on his way to a career-high 15 points. Franko House and Sean Sellers finished with 12 points each, while Bik Gill added a career-high 11.

Ball State moved the ball well, recording 23 assists on 30 made baskets, led by Sellers with six assists and Kaleb Mallory with five. Mallory and Francis Kiapway shared the point guard duties for the Cardinals, which had only 10 turnovers against Grambling State (1-3) after giving it away 25 times Saturday in an overtime loss at IUPUI.

“The biggest thing for us coming off Saturday’s game was taking care of the ball; it was a huge deal,” Ball State head coach James Whitford said. “For us to come in with Francis and Kaleb running the show and to have 10 turnovers, that was the stat of the game, no question about it. I thought we played very unselfishly and shared the ball.”

Kiapway scored eight points and knocked down a pair of 3-pointers of his own in his second career game after missing time early because of injury. The 14 3-pointers were the most by a Ball State team since the 2006 season and two shy of the school record.

“Francis did a very good job of being poised,” Whitford said. “He didn’t play too fast; he kind of set the tone. There were a couple chances where he could have tried to make home run plays and he didn’t. He really controlled the rhythm and the tempo of the game, and I though Kaleb did a good job with it, too.”

Ball State won the battle on the boards for the third straight game, outrebounding Grambling State by a 35-23 margin. Matt Kamieniecki had a game-high 13 rebounds just two days after grabbing a career-high 15 boards at IUPUI.

The Cardinals finished the night shooting 54.5 percent from the floor (30 for 55) and 50 percent from beyond the arc (14 for 28). Grambling State was able to score 36 points in the paint, but the Tigers shot 1 for 8 from 3-point range as the Cardinals outscored them 42-3 from distance.

Ball State is now off until a Dec. 3 road game at Eastern Illinois. The Cardinals will return home Dec. 6 to host Indiana State at Worthen Arena.

Indiana State, you say? Seems like the basketball team could dole out some revenge for the football bed-shatting and that would be fine by me.

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