Second-Half Run Pushes Cardinals Past Wofford, 66-61
MUNCIE, Ind. -- Freshman guard Michael Ramey keyed a game-changing run with a trio of 3-pointers in less than 90 seconds Friday night, and the Ball State men's basketball team held off Wofford for a 66-61 win at Worthen Arena.
Ramey finished with 11 points in his second collegiate game, while junior Majok Majok scored a game-high 17 to lead four Cardinals in double figures. Jauwan Scaife tallied 14 points and Jesse Berry added 12 for Ball State (2-0).
The Cardinals trailed 45-39 with just more than nine minutes to play when Ramey struck for the first time from beyond the arc to start a 13-2 spurt. Ramey also hit 3-pointers on the next two possessions, and then Berry and Majok added free throws on the next two trips to put Ball State on top 52-47.
Wofford (1-2) trimmed the Cardinals' lead to two points on three occasions in the closing minutes, but the Terriers could get no closer. Ball State scored 10 of its final 12 points at the free throw line over the last four minutes to close out the win.
Ball State's defensive effort limited Wofford's leading scorer, Karl Cochran, to 10 points on 4-of-15 shooting. Cochran entered the game having scored more than 20 in each of Wofford's first two contests. The Cardinals held the Terriers to 36 percent shooting for the game and turned them over 17 times.
"We knew Wofford was going to be a really well-prepared, very disciplined, tough-minded basketball team," Ball State head coach Billy Taylor said. "They make you play long possessions on defense. The fact that we forced 17 turnovers is really a credit to our defense because their execution is usually top notch. I thought we did a terrific job on the defensive end of the floor."
Majok played aggressively in the paint on the offensive end, earning 10 free throws on the night and knocking down nine of them. The junior college transfer reached double figures for the second straight game to start his Ball State career and also finished with a team-high seven rebounds.
Chris Bond's sticky defense was again a major factor for Ball State as the junior forward finished with five steals to go along with seven points and six rebounds.
The Cardinals picked up their shooting over the second half. After hitting on 35 percent of their shots in the first half, they knocked down 53 percent over the final 20 minutes and also went 21-for-25 at the foul line after the break.
Lee Skinner led Wofford with a double-double of 16 points and 10 rebounds. Spencer Collins added 14 points for a Terrier team that has played in three straight postseasons with two NCAA tournament berths and a trip to the College Basketball Invitational (CBI).
Friday's game was the 300th for Ball State in Worthen Arena, which opened in January 1992. The Cardinals are now 219-81 all-time in the building.
Ball State will play its third consecutive home game Tuesday when it welcomes in-state rival Indiana State to Worthen Arena. That game is scheduled for a 7 p.m. tipoff.