Cardinals Roll to 94-58 MBB Win over Oakland City
MUNCIE, Ind. -- Majok Majok scored 25 points and grabbed a career-high 18 rebounds Friday as the Ball State men’s basketball team registered a 94-58 victory over Oakland City in Worthen Arena.
The win snapped a seven-game losing streak for the Cardinals, who now turn the page to the Mid-American Conference portion of their schedule. Ball State, 3-8 on the year, will host defending league champion Akron in the MAC opener Wednesday.
Oakland City, a program from Southern Indiana with dual membership in NCAA Division II and the National Christian College Athletic Association, lost for the first time in its past four games to fall to 8-4.
Ball State’s Chris Bond logged 16 points, while Mark Alstork finished with career highs of 13 points and six rebounds. Zavier Turner gutted through illness to score 12 points and hand out five assists, while Jesse Berry added 10 points to give the Cardinals five scorers in double figures.
Majok, who reached double-figure points and rebounds by halftime, finished with his second straight double-double and fifth of the season. The Cardinals were able to pound the ball inside to the senior big man, who shot 7 of 10 from the floor and made good on 11 of 12 free throw attempts.
Playing just 25 minutes, Majok finished one shy of his career-best scoring output while becoming the first Ball State player with 20 points and 15 rebounds in a game since Terrance Chapman in January 2005.
“Majok has responded really well post-Christmas,” Ball State head coach James Whitford said. “He is really playing like a physical force. We all know talent-wise he is a first-team all-conference player. He has to be that way performance-wise for us to win.”
Ball State out-rebounded Oakland City by a 53-25 margin as a team and registered 28 second-chance points on 24 offensive boards. The Cardinals also protected the ball for most of the night, turning it over a season-low 10 times.
“We talked about us trying to dominate the glass because that’s something we can control; it’s about effort,” Whitford said. “I thought we played hard for 40 minutes, and I thought the second 20 were better than the first 20. I was pleased with the effort tonight.”
The Cardinals took command late in the first half with a 14-3 run that turned a five-point edge into a 16-point advantage. They went into the break with a 42-28 lead.
Oakland City trimmed the lead to 51-42 on a pair of Ryan Helfert free throws with 14:18 to play, but a 12-2 spurt over the next three minutes pushed the Cardinals’ lead to 19 and Ball State cruised the rest of the way. Mading Thok’s layup in the final minute capped the scoring and pushed the margin to 36 points, the largest of the night.
Ten different Ball State players scored in the game. Thok managed four late points to go with six rebounds in just four minutes, while Muncie Central product Kaleb Mallory notched his first career basket on a layup in the closing minutes.
The visiting Mighty Oaks finished with three double-figure scorers in Lawrence Kinney with 13, Byron Dulin with 12 and Kendall Wittmer with 11. Oakland City connected on 7 of 13 attempts from 3-point range but managed to shoot just 10 for 39 inside the arc.
Friday’s game was the first time Ball State played at home since early December. The Cardinals will remain in Muncie for Wednesday’s game with Akron, which is slated to tip at 7 p.m.