MUNCIE, Ind. -- Jauwan Scaife's career-high 30 points helped the Ball State men's basketball team to a 65-62 victory over Mid-American Conference West Division leader Western Michigan Saturday evening at Worthen Arena.
The Cardinals improved to 9-13 on the season and 3-7 in MAC play with the win, while the Broncos fell to 15-8 on the year and 7-3 in league action.
"I thought our energy was terrific today, right off the bat," Ball State coach Billy Taylor said. "For us, the last two days of practice were probably our best two days of practice this season and certainly our best practices on consecutive days.
"We were focused and dialed in on taking care of the basketball and playing together. I had a good feeling we would come out and play well. I'm proud of our guys for making enough big plays down the stretch to be able to win."
Scaife's career high entering the night was 24. He managed that in the second half alone Saturday. The senior guard from Muncie knocked down 7 of 11 shots and 7 of 8 free throws after the break, scoring 24 of Ball State's 37 points in the second half.
Scaife even threw down a monster dunk through two Western Michigan defenders early in the second half to electrify the crowd and keep the momentum on the Cardinals' side.
He teamed with Posley in the backcourt to score 45 of the Cardinals' 65 points on the night as Ball State played without Jesse Berry, its second-leading scorer on the season, because of injury. Posley made his first career start in Berry's absence.
Western Michigan whittled away an eight-point Ball State lead midway through the second half to tie the score at 54-54 on two David Brown free throws with 3:43 to play. Scaife answered with two free throws on the other end, and the Cardinals managed to hang on to a slim lead the rest of the way.
The Broncos had the ball down 58-57 and looking to take the lead with two minutes left when Kamieniecki stepped in to take a charge in the lane. A Scaife 3-pointer extended the lead to four and then Kamieniecki drew another charge on the next possession.
Western Michigan managed to pull within one point again at 63-62 on an Austin Richie 3-pointer with 8.3 seconds to play. But the Broncos had to foul, Scaife knocked down both free throws, and the Cardinals held on for the win.
Darius Paul led Western Michigan with a double-double of 13 points and 11 rebounds. Brown also scored 13 points, while Nate Hutcheson added 12 for the Broncos.
The Cardinals shot 51.1 percent from the field (23-of-45), while the Broncos managed a 43.8 field goal percentage (21-of-48). Ball State, which turned the ball over only 12 times, scored 23 points off Western Michigan's 20 turnovers.
The turnover differential and good shooting numbers made up for Ball State being out-rebounded (37-25) for just the second time in MAC play.
Ball State is back in action Wednesday when it travels to Northern Illinois for a 7 p.m. CT (8 p.m. ET matchup.