Ball State Upsets Notre Dame

Aubrey Yates
December 7, 2017

Eighth-ranked Notre Dame rebounded from its first loss to notch a solid victory and looks to record another win when it hosts Ball State on Tuesday.

Persons scored 24 points, Tahjai Teague added 13 and Sean Sellers had 11 as Ball State knocked off a nationally ranked opponent for the first time since downing No. 4 UCLA 91-73 more than 16 years ago.

Ball State men's basketball will face what is arguably its toughest opponent of the season Tuesday night.

Comparatively, Notre Dame relies on its starting lineup to play a majority of the game, with four out of the five averaging more than 30 minutes per contest. The Fighting Irish entered the game as almost 20-point favorites over their in-state opponent but instead dropped to 3-1 at home.

But Persons quieted them down about 20 seconds later, shooting a dagger over the outstretched arms of 6-foot-6 Rex Pflueger with 1.7 seconds left.

Notre Dame came out hot in the second half, hitting its first six shots to take the lead, but the Cardinals stood their ground. Bonzie Colson and Martinas Geben led the offense with a combined 17 points and nine rebounds in the first frame.

The Cardinals (5-4) led by a high of 67-58 with 6:45 to go, but the Irish charged all the way back to a 77-77 tie on Matt Farrell's 3-pointer with 20 seconds to go.

As a team, Notre Dame has committed just 72 turnovers all year with T.J. Gibbs leading the Atlantic Coast Conference in assist-to-turnover ratio at 3.57.

However, Ball State was undeterred by Notre Dame's outburst.

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Ball State led 34-29 at halftime.

Taylor Persons did the most to ensure said conversation will include his Cardinals.

Colson did all he could for the Irish, scoring a game-high 26 points on 10-of-19 shooting.

Duke 124, St. Francis (Pa.) 67: Freshman Marvin Bagley III had 21 points and 11 rebounds, and No. 1 Duke (11-0) scored 71 points in the first half of its rout of St. Francis (Pa.). But what will it take for Ball State to pull out a win in its first meeting against Notre Dame since 1976 while facing a top-25 team for the first time since December 20, 2014? The Fighting Irish are the highest-ranked opponent the Cardinals have faced since they played No. 1 IN on November 25, 2012.

Notre Dame did not go away. A miss would have deservedly drawn criticism for poor shot selection but the junior hit nothing but nylon.

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