MUNCIE, Ind. -- Jesse Berry broke the Ball State record for career 3-pointers Saturday, but Bowling Green got key stops in the final minute to escape Worthen Arena with a 66-64 win in men’s basketball action.
Berry matched his career-high with six treys to bring his career total to 207, surpassing the previous record of 203 set last year by his former teammate Jauwan Scaife. The senior from Lafayette, Ind., led the Cardinals with 20 points on 7-of-11 shooting from the floor.
Franko House finished with a career-high 13 points, while Chris Bond also scored 13. Majok Majok pulled down a game-high 15 rebounds for the Cardinals (4-19, 1-11 Mid-American Conference) in the loss.
Ball State grabbed a 64-61 lead on a 3-pointer from Zavier Turner with 1:20 to play, but those proved to be the Cardinals’ final points of the night. A pair of Spencer Parker free throws cut the gap to one and then Anthony Henderson scored in the paint to put Bowling Green on top, 65-64.
The teams traded free throw misses, and Ball State had the ball still trailing by one with 20 seconds to play. But Turner’s driving layup at the end of that possession was blocked, and the Cardinals had to foul. Richaun Holmes hit one of two free throws with four seconds left, and Turner had to force a contested jumper as the clock ran out.
“I’m disappointed,” Ball State head coach James Whitford said. “That was our game to win. We certainly played well enough to win. They started the game scoring like crazy, but we defended great in the second half. They hit one big 3 from Richaun Holmes, which was a real dagger.”
Parker led Bowling Green (11-14, 5-7 MAC) with a game-high 22 points, while Holmes posted a double-double of 17 points and 11 rebounds. The Falcons hit 28 shots from the floor to Ball State’s 23, but the Cardinals were able to hang in because of their outside shooting.
Ball State connected on 10 3-pointers (10 for 21) for the second straight game, and it was Berry who was once again leading the charge. Berry entered the week in a drought from beyond the arc but has knocked down 11 treys in the past two games.
“I couldn’t be more proud of Jesse with the way he has grown,” Whitford said. “I thought he played his best game in a Ball State uniform since I’ve been here because it was a complete game. It wasn’t just shots. He defended. He really stayed within himself. He executed the things we asked him to do. He really was a complete player.”
Berry scored 15 of his points Saturday in the first half to keep the Cardinals in the game. Ball State trailed by as many as 10 in the opening half but cut the margin to 36-32 at the break.
The Cardinals grabbed their first lead on a lay-in from House with 11 minutes to play and led by as many as five points after Berry’s final 3 at the 6:37 mark. Holmes brought the Falcons even on a 3 of his own with 3:07 left, and the teams went back and forth down the stretch.
Saturday’s contest was the last of a three-game home stand for Ball State, which will head back on the road next week. The Cardinals will visit Central Michigan at 7 p.m. Wednesday in a game that will be televised by the Ball State Sports Network.