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Cardinals fall to NIU on Senior Night

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Lacey James (with ball) of Northern Illinois is surrounded by Ball State’s Brachen Hazen (12), Trey Moses (24) and Tayler Persons (2) in the paint during Friday night’s men’s MAC college basketball game at Worthen Arena. James got into foul trouble and scored just two points for the Huskies while Hazen had six points, Moses five, and Persons 14 for the host Cardinals. NIU came from 14 points down in the first half to defeat BSU 64-57.
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Ball State senior Trey Moses (24) looks for room to maneuver near the basket against Noah McCarty (11) of Northern Illinois during Friday night's men's MAC college basketball game in Worthen Arena. Moses scored five points and grabbed a game-high 16 rebounds for the host Cardinals in his final game at the venue, but McCarty scored 10 points for the Huskies as NIU beat BSU 64-57.
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Ball State’s K.J. Walton (1, with ball) is surrounded by Lacey James (4) and Eugene German (10) from Northern Illinois during the second half of Friday night’s men’s MAC college basketball game in Worthen Arena. Walton scored 10 points for the host Cardinals, but German scored 15 points for the Huskies, including a three-pointer that put them ahead to stay. NIU defeated BSU 64-57. Walton will be a teammate of New Castle’s Luke Bumbalough when Bumbalough joins the Cardinals for the 2019-20 season.

By TYSON MATHEWS of the BSU Athletic Dept. -

MUNCIE, Ind. -- Ball State got off to a blistering offensive start but stalled out Friday night in a 64-57 loss to Northern Illinois at Worthen Arena in the regular season finale.

The Huskies (15-16, 8-10 MAC) used a 9-0 run to break open a game that was tied at 45 with 7 minutes to play and held off the Cardinals to even the season series. The Cardinals (15-16, 6-12 MAC) won 72-71 last month in DeKalb.

With Friday’s results, next week’s MAC Tournament bracket is set. Ball State will be the No. 11 seed and visit No. 6 seed Eastern Michigan for a 7 p.m. tipoff Monday in a first-round game. The winner will advance to meet No. 3 seed Bowling Green in Thursday’s quarterfinal round at Quicken Loans Arena in Cleveland.

Tayler Persons scored 14 points Friday in his final game at Worthen Arena, while Trey Moses stuffed the stat sheet with 16 rebounds, five points, five assists, five blocks and two steals in his.

Ball State recognized Persons, Moses and Austin Nehls with a pre-game ceremony and then raced out to an 18-4 lead through eight minutes. But the Cardinals made just one field goal over the next eight and took just a 28-27 lead into halftime.

The second half went back and forth, and the game was tied at 45. But Eugene German hit a 3-pointer to ignite NIU’s nine-point surge, and the Huskies never trailed again.

German, the second-leading scorer in the MAC, went for 15 points. Levi Bradley led four Northern Illinois players in double figures with 22.

Tahjai Teague lad Ball State with 15 points, and K.J. Walton added 10.

Northern Illinois 64, Ball State 57

NORTHERN ILLINOIS (64)

James 1-5 0-0 2, Bradley 9-20 4-4 22, Thorpe 4-8 4-4 13, German 5-16 2-2 15, Henry-Hayes 0-2 0-0 0, McCarty 5-14 0-0 10, Hankerson 1-2 0-0 2, Richie 0-1 0-0 0, Daow 0-0 0-0 0. Totals 25-68 10-10 64.

BALL STATE (57)

Teague 6-11 2-5 15, Moses 1-6 3-5 5, Walton 4-6 2-2 10, Persons 7-15 0-0 14, Nehls 0-1 0-0 0, Hazen 3-4 0-2 6, Mallers 1-3 0-0 2, El-Amin 1-4 0-0 3, Thompson 1-2 0-0 2, Gunn 0-1 0-0 0. Totals 24-53 7-14 57.

No. Illinois`27`37`-64

Ball State`28`29`-57

3-point goals - NIU 4 (German 3, Thorpe), BSU 2 (Teague, El-Amin). Rebounds - NIU 35 (McCarty 11, James 7), BSU 42 (Moses 16, Teague 8, Persons 6, Mallers 5). Total fouls - NIU 15, BSU 15. Turnovers - NIU 5, BSU 17. Records - NIU 15-16, 8-10 MAC; BSU 15-16, 6-12 MAC.