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Bumbalough shines in BSU romp past Defiance

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Ball State’s Tahjai Teague (25) scores on a dunk off an assist by teammate Luke Bumbalough from New Castle as a player from visiting Defiance College gets there too late to prevent it during Tuesday night’s season-opening men’s basketball game in Worthen Arena. Teague scored 11 points in 15:09 of action as the host Cardinals defeated the Yellow Jackets 87-43.
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Ball State’s Luke Bumbalough from New Castle looks to throw the ball in bounds to a teammate during the second half of Tuesday night’s season-opening men’s college basketball game against visiting Defiance College in Worthen Arena. Bumbalough, a freshman, shined in his collegiate debut with nine points and three assists as the host Cardinals took the sting out of the Yellow Jackets 87-43.
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Ball State’s Luke Bumbalough (2) and Kyle Mallers (14) play defense against Sean Tyson (11) from visiting Defiance College as another Defiance player tries to set a pick during Tuesday night’s season-opening men’s college basketball game in Worthen Arena. Bumbalough, a freshman from New Castle, scored nine points and dished out three assists and Mallers led the host Cardinals in scoring with 12 points as BSU rolled past the Yellow Jackets 87-43.
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Ball State’s Luke Bumbalough (2) from New Castle plays in-your-face defense against Sean Tyson (11) from visiting Defiance during Tuesday night’s season-opening men’s college basketball game in Worthen Arena. Bumbalough played the most of any Cardinal in the game (22:15) as host BSU defeated the Yellow Jackets 87-43.
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Ball State’s Luke Bumbalough (2) from New Castle drives the ball against the Defiance defense during Tuesday night’s season-opening men’s college basketball game at Worthen Arena. Bumbalough scored nine points in the Cardinals’ 87-43 win over the visiting Yellow Jackets.

By DAVID RISLEY - drisley@thecouriertimes.com

MUNCIE — Luke Bumbalough, a freshman from New Castle, shined in his collegiate debut for the Ball State University men’s basketball team as the Cardinals whacked visiting Defiance College 87-43 in their season-opening game Tuesday night in Worthen Arena.

Bumbalough scored nine points on a trio of three-pointers, dished out three assists, pulled down a pair of defensive rebounds, blocked a shot, and had no turnovers in 22:15 of action in the contest.

In fact Bumbalough, who did not start but entered the game after the first media timeout, played the most of any Cardinal as BSU Head Coach James Whitford substituted liberally throughout the contest.

“It felt good playing another college and getting this first game out of the way with a win,” Bumbalough said after the game. “I thought I did fine although there always are things I can improve on. The college game is faster, the players are quicker, and I’m still getting used to that.”

Defiance, an NCAA Division III school, never was a serious threat to upend the Cardinals in this game. The Yellow Jackets were down 7-0 early but did pull to within 9-5 before the first media timeout with 15:43 remaining in the first half.

Bumbalough entered the fray at that point, Ball State took off, and steadily increased its advantage from that time forward. The Cardinals led 33-12 late in the first half and expanded their advantage to 41-16 at intermission.

In the first half, Bumbalough buried his first three-pointer with 11:04 left in the period and dished out assists to Tahjai Teague and Blake Huggins. KJ Walton led Ball State in scoring in the first half with 11 points, while Sean Tyson topped Defiance in the first 20 minutes with five points.

“We have a deep and talented team and a lot of guys can score,” Bumbalough remarked. “I don’t have to score as much as I did in high school. My role is to get the ball to the players who have the best shot. If I have a good shot and I’m open, I may take it, but I’ll look to get the ball inside to one of my teammates first.”

The second half was more of the same. The Cardinals roared out of the gate and outscored the Yellow Jackets 21-3 to build a whopping 62-19 advantage going into the second media timeout with 11:53 left in the second half.

Bumbalough had re-entered the game long before then (at the 16:15 mark of the second half). Bumbalough hit his second trey of the game from the left corner at the 14:04 mark of the final half, and dished out another assist, this one to Kyle Mallers, who popped in the third of his trio of consecutive three-pointers that helped blow the game open.

In his remaining time on the court in the second half, Bumbalough grabbed a couple of rebounds, blocked a shot, and actually hit the last field goal of the game, a three-pointer with 32.9 seconds remaining, to account for the final score of 87-43.

Of course, it was just the season opener against a school from a lower classification, but all of the Cardinals who were available to play got minutes out on the floor and Ball State appears to have the ingredients for a good season.

The Cardinals out-rebounded the Yellow Jackets 47-31 and committed 10 turnovers to the visitors’ 16.

Twelve of the 13 players who saw action for Ball State scored. Mallers led the Cardinals in scoring with 12 points (all on three-pointers), followed Walton and Teague 11 apiece, Jarron Coleman 10, Bumbalough nine, and Ishmael El-Amin eight.

Sixteen players for Defiance saw action, but none reached double figures in scoring. Marell Jordan and Tyson led the Yellow Jackets in scoring with six points apiece.

Ball State takes to the road for its next three games, starting this Saturday at Evansville. The Cardinals’ next home game is Wednesday, Nov. 20 against Northern Kentucky.

“We’re kind of excited to see how we’ll fare on the road,” Bumbalough added, “starting against a good Evansville team on Saturday. We hope to get a victory there and then move on to the next game.”

Ball State 87, Defiance 43

DEFIANCE (43)

Andrew 2-9 1-2 5, Cox 1-2 0-0 2, Hiegel 1-1 0-0 3, Tyson 2-8 1-2 6, Kolar 0-1 0-0 0, Jones 2-6 0-0 4, Jordan 3-11 0-0 6, Perkins 1-6 0-0 2, Glock 1-5 1-2 3, J. Johnson 1-3 0-0 3, Barber 1-1 0-0 3, Cline 0-0 1-3 1, Ortiz 2-3 0-0 5, G. Johnson 0-1 0-0 0, Heidelburg 0-2 0-0 0, Garwo 0-0 0-0 0. Totals 17-59 4-9 43.

BALL STATE (87)

Hazen 2-5 0-0 4, Mallers 4-7 0-0 12, Walton 5-7 1-3 11, Thompson 2-5 0-0 4, El-Amin 3-4 0-0 8, Bumbalough 3-6 0-0 9, Coleman 3-7 3-4 10, Teague 4-6 3-6 11, Kroft 2-7 0-0 6, Thomas 2-3 1-2 5, Acree 0-2 0-0 0, Huggins 2-2 1-3 5, Hendriks 1-3 0-0 2. Totals 33-64 9-18 87.

Defiance 16 27 – 43

Ball State 41 46 – 87

3-point goals - Defiance 5-29 (Hiegel, Tyson, J. Johnson. Barber, Ortiz), Ball State 12-33 (Mallers 4, Bumbalough 3, El-Amin 2, Kroft 2, Coleman). Rebounds - Defiance 31 (Tyson 5, Perkins 5, Andrew 4, Jordan 4), Ball State 47 (Mallers 7, Coleman 7, Walton 6, Teague 4). Turnovers - Defiance 16, Ball State 10. Personal fouls - Defiance 18, Ball State 8. Fouled out - Andrew. Records - Defiance 0-1, Ball State 1-0.