INDIANAPOLIS–Six days removed from its 78-73 double overtime triumph over Stetson, Ball State took a short bus ride to Hinkle Fieldhouse, where it will square off with the Butler Bulldogs of the Horizon League.
The Cardinals (4-4) are looking to accomplish something they have yet to do this season; play great team defense on the road. According to coach Kelly Packard, that’s her main focus heading into tonight’s game against the Bulldogs.
“The challenge is we’ve not played great team defense on the road,” Packard said. Certainly not at Wright State, Evansville [or] SIUE. I think our strong defensive performances have been at home, specifically Murray State and Stetson. Being able to carry that on the road is something we’ve not done and [it’s] something we’ve talked about and really worked on this week.”
Ball State is just 1-3 on the road this season, but won its most recent game away from John E. Worthen Arena against Evansville on Nov. 29. A fast start and maintaining its poise will be important for this young team.
Packard labeled this game as solely a business trip.
“Right now we’ve got eight players that are freshmen or sophomores and just developing that mindset in them when you go on the road is important,” Packard said. “Yes, you want to enjoy the time with your teammates, but ultimately, you’re going there for a two-hour, intensive business focus. Two hours of intense business focus for us is the competition in itself.”