Early in the first half Ball State suffered the loss of their point guard Tayler Persons. Persons collided with teammate Jeremie Tyler. Tyler checked limped off the court but checked back in halfway in the first. Persons in second in the MAC in assists and eighth in scoring. Even with that loss the Cardinals held their lead with a big step-up performance from shooting guard Francis Kiapway who lead scoring in the first with ten points.
Entering the second half the Cardinals had 5 point lead up 38-33. Midway through the half Western Michigan had a run which left them up three. Ball State quickly answered back though and regained the lead. This back and forth game-play would continue on throughout the second half with the Bronco guard Thomas wilder hitting a three at the one-minute mark to tie it up. In what ended up a battle of free throws, Ball State was able to come out on top and snag the win.
Leading for Western Michigan was Thomas Wilder with 24 points, five assists, and five rebounds. Brandon Johnson also lead with 13 points and eight rebounds.
Leading for Ball State was Kiapway with 16 points, Franco House with 14 points and 9 rebounds, and Trey Moses with 11 points and 14 rebounds.
The Cardinals head to the Semifinals tomorrow at 5:30pm where they’ll play the Akron Zips for a spot in the finals.