Facing an opponent with a winless record, Ball State laid an egg in the first half against Detroit Mercy. Aside from sophomore forward Jazmin Hitchens’s team-leading eight points, the offense went dry, the transition game never formed and the defense couldn’t contain Titans’ freshman sensation Shareta Brown, who is the leading scorer with 15 points at the half. For Brown, those numbers are about right. She averages a double-double per game.
The Cardinals were plagued by turnovers in the opening half, committing 10 of them, which resulted in 14 points for their opponent. If the Cardinals want to scrape together a win tonight, those numbers need to change in the second half.
Another area the Cardinals are being whipped in is points in the paint. The Titans have scored 22 of the 39 total points in the painted area. Again, that has to change for the Cardinals to have a chance in the second half. It starts up front with seniors Amber Crago and Suzanne Grossnickle and trickles down to playing sound, fundamental basketball.
Detroit Mercy certainly isn’t playing like the 0-6 team that they are.
Tonight’s probable starting lineups:
Jalesa Jones (SR), G
Chanahl Putnam (JR), G
Lauren Allen (SR), G
Shareta Brown (FR), F
Yar Shayok (JR), F
Brandy Woody (SO), G
Brittany Carter (FR), G
*Jazmin Hitchens (SO), F
Katie Murphy (SO), F
Amber Crago (SR), C
*Tonight’s game marks the home debut for sophomore forward Jazmin Hitchens. Following a two-game suspension for violating team rules to begin the season, Hitchens has seen action four of Ball State’s six games this season. Hitchens made her season debut on Tuesday night at Evansville.
Good evening from John E. Worthen Arena…
Tonight, the Cardinals begin a brief two-game home stand against the Detroit Mercy Titans. After an impressive 55-50 victory on the road at Evansville on Tuesday, the Cardinals return home where they are 2-1 on the season.
The win over Evansville snapped a 14-game road losing streak for Ball State and evened its overall record to 3-3 as we enter December. For the third time this season, sophomore forward Jazmin Hitchens led the Cardinals offensively with 11 points. Fellow sophomore Katie Murphy headed the defensive unit by coming down with a career-high 12 boards.
Look for both Hitchens and Murphy to factor into tonight’s game, as coach Kelly Packard will rely on them to jump start the Cardinals, who are looking to go above .500 for the first this season.
Detroit Mercy is off to a rocky start, dropping all six of its contests to open up the 2011-12 season. Despite their record, the Titans have been in every game until the last second. Every game has been extremely close. The Titans lost to Indiana State by two (64-62), Drexel (61-56), Howard (60-58), Bowling Green (57-49), Utah (64-55) and UTSA (59-55).
Freshman forward Shareta Brown, who averages a double-double per game, leads the Titans offensively this season. Brown is converting an amazing 51.6-percent of her field goals. Junior guard Chanahl Putnam has also been at the center of attention for the Titans. Putnam averages more than 11 points per game and converts nearly 38-percent of her 3-point field goals to lead the team.
It’ll certainly be interesting to see how Packard utilizes her players against this Titans team. As Packard acknowledged Tuesday night; “This is not a team that’s going to be easy for us whatsoever.” It could certainly shape up to be a battle.