Monday, May 27, 2024

Persons hits game-winner, as Cardinals beat Fighting Irish

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By Anthony Caruso III | Publisher

The Ball State Cardinals shocked the No. 9 Notre Dame Fighting Irish on Tuesday night. The Cardinals won 80-77 at the Purcell Pavilion.

Cardinals guard Tayler Persons made the game-winning basket over Fighting Irish guard Rex Pflueger for the win. He made the three-pointer with 1.7 seconds left in the contest.

Ball State Cardinals guard Tayler Persons makes the game-winning shot over Notre Dame Fighting Irish guard Rex Pflueger late in the game
Tayler Persons makes the game-winning shot over Notre Dame Fighting Irish guard Rex Pflueger late in the game (Photo by Quinn Harris/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images)

The Cardinals improved to 5-4 on the season. This is the Fighting Irish’s second loss of the season, as they fell to 7-2 overall.

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This is their first non-conference loss at home in four years. They lost to North Dakota State at home in their last non-conference home loss in 2012.

In addition, this is the first time since 2001 that Ball State has defeated a ranked team.

“I think we stayed relaxed because as a team, I think we’ve grown a lot,” Tayler Persons said. “We know how to play in any moment, and it was rocking in there and that’s a fun environment for anyone to be in.”

The Cardinals went 29 of 63 from the field and 8 of 24 from three-point range. They did; however, go 14 of 16 from the free-throw line.

The Fighting Irish went 26 of 54 from the field and 6 of 17 from three-point range. They shot 19 of 26 from the free-throw line.

The Cardinals also outscored the Fighting Irish 22-6 in bench points.

Persons had 24 points, five rebounds, and three assists. He was one of three Cardinals players, who were in double figures.

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“I’m going to create shots for myself,” Persons said after confidently dribbling down the clock against Rex Pflueger. “Just stay aggressive. I’ve always had the same mindset — just hit more shots.”

The Fighting Irish was led by Bonzie Colson, who had a game-high 26 points, along with six rebounds, two steals, and a block. Notre Dame had four players in double-figures from four of the five starters.

“They got us on the backboards,” Irish coach Mike Brey said after his team was outrebounded 40-26 overall. “You know what, give them credit. They played great.”

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Anthony Caruso III
Anthony Caruso III
Anthony Caruso III is the Publisher of The Capital Sports Report. He has been in the Journalism field since August 2002. Since that time, Mr. Caruso has covered many marquee events. This includes 13 Heisman Trophy ceremonies, 2 Little World Series events, and one Army-Navy College Football game.
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