MUNCIE, Ind. -- Chris Bond scored a career-high 20 points Monday night, and Jesse Berry and Zavier Turner had 19 each as the Ball State men’s basketball team downed Southeast Missouri, 87-83, at Worthen Arena.
Majok Majok also finished in double figures with 11 points to go along with a game-high 12 rebounds for his first double-double of the season. Franko House added 11 boards as the Cardinals held a double-digit rebounding advantage for the second game in a row.
“I am really proud of our team,” Ball State coach James Whitford said. “That was a hard-fought game and that’s a really good team. We really respect Southeast Missouri. I thought it was a great effort, and our guys really competed for 40 minutes.”
It was the second straight win for Ball State (2-1), which will now close out a three-game home stand Saturday at 2 p.m. against Butler. Southeast Missouri (2-2) had its two-game winning streak snapped as Ball State was able to overcome 50 combined points from SEMO’s duo of Jarekious Bradley (26) and Tyler Stone (24).
Ball State led by as many as eight points in the second half before Southeast Missouri rallied to grab a 62-61 lead on a Darrian Gray layup with 7:08 to play. The teams went back and forth until Bond slammed home a missed 3-point attempt by Berry to put the Cardinals in front for good at 72-71 with just under four minutes left.
It was one of two dunks in the closing minutes for Bond. The second came on a fastbreak alley-oop from Turner that extended Cardinals’ lead to 82-75 with 1:08 to play. That play capped a stretch in which Bond scored nine of 12 points for Ball State, and it forced Southeast Missouri to foul late, allowing the Cardinals to seal it at the free throw line.
“They went on a run and we got a little disorganized,” Whitford said. “For us to come back and make some runs and some big plays to finish the game was a really good sign for us. We have a long road ahead of us. We have a really tough schedule. But we’re getting better and that’s all we care about.”
Turner added five assists to his 19 points, becoming the first Ball State player since Larry Bullington in 1973-74 to score at least 17 points and hand out at least four assists in the first three games of a season. He is the first Ball State freshman since Jim Fields in 1975-76 to score at least 17 points in the first three games.
Fellow freshman Quinten Payne matched Turner in assists, recording five for the second game in a row, while House added four helpers.
Ball State was able to rebound from a cold shooting start. The Cardinals hit just one of their first 10 attempts from the floor and fell behind 11-2. But they bounced back with a 12-0 run to grab the lead and went on to shoot 51 percent (26 for 51) the rest of the way.
Turner made four of his five 3-point attempts on the night and is now 10 for 14 on the season from beyond the arc. Berry made a trio of 3-pointers to move into third place on Ball State's career list with 165. He passed another Lafayette Jefferson High School alum, Peyton Stovall.