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.
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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