Ball State is holding the seventh day of its annual field trip in hopes of inspiring
A day earlier last year, Ball State’s women’s basketball team lost to Tennessee Tech University by five points to start its season 0-1.
Today, the Cardinals beat the Golden Eagles by 33 points to start their season 1-0.
Junior Allie Becky said last season’s loss in the season opener served as extra motivation before the game.
“We didn’t want to take that loss again this year,” Becky said.
The win also marked Ball State’s seventh annual Field Trip Day. A day when Worthen Arena is filled with elementary and middle school students and a start time of 11:00 a.m.
Head coach Brady Sale said there are many reasons for Field Trip Day, but its main goal is to inspire future generations.
“Hopefully there are kids sitting there watching and really paying attention,” Sally said. “I hope something hits them where they’re going. ‘I want to do that.’
“Hopefully that’s what comes out of Worthen today.”
Field Trip Day is able to bring a lot of excitement to Worthen, Becky said.
“Nyla and I went to one of the elementary schools and made connections with them, so it was great to see them in the crowd and hear them cheering us on,” Becky said. “It’s very fun and memorable.”
In her first game as a Cardinal, junior Nyla Hampton expected the craziness that comes with field trip day but said she achieved more. She said it was a lot of fun interacting with the audience.
After her first game in the red and white, Hampton felt like she was adjusting well to Ball State’s style of basketball, saying she feels completely integrated into the system.
“I loved playing with them and loved working with them over the summer, so it’s exciting to officially get the ball rolling,” Hampton said.
As a complete player, Hampton led the Cardinals’ defensive attack. She made eight steals out of the 26 total turnovers Ball State was able to force on the Golden Eagles.
Through steals, Hampton brings a simple mentality to her on-ball defense.
“Don’t let them get past me,” Hampton said.
The vast majority of turnovers came from the full press. Although he wasn’t planning on pressing the full field for 35 minutes, Sale said it was in keeping with the atmosphere of the game. He said there will be days when they will have to withdraw it. But when change comes, he feels the Cardinals are ready for any adjustments.
“It’s a system that can be crazy and a lot of fun when it starts snowballing,” Sallie said.
34 points came from Ball State’s bench in the win. Sally said he couldn’t be more excited about the collection. He’s especially excited for sophomore Anna Barretto (or “Heat” for Sally) and sophomore Hannah Moll.
“Those two kids didn’t get a lot of minutes last year,” Sallee said. “They worked and worked, and they did it the right way. They get the opportunities and they take full advantage of them.”
Sali said that with Becky and Hampton playing and creating problems for the goalkeepers, when Barreto and Mole sign on, it will create more problems for opposing teams.
“We have some good depth, so as we gain experience, things will get better and better,” Sale said.
Despite winning by 33 points, Sali said there was still room for improvement. He pointed to 10 turnovers in the first half, but said the team was able to improve with only four turnovers in the second half.
Salley said the Cardinals’ focus is on being authentic when looking in the mirror about who the team is.
“The only thing that matters to us is the reflection in the mirror,” Sally said. “We have to see it for what it is and learn the lessons. Fortunately (we learned the lessons) after a really good win.”
Come Wednesday, the Cardinals will have to look in the mirror to see where they can improve for their game against Troy on Nov. 11, starting at 4:33 p.m., at Troy, Sale said.
“Troy is really good,” Sally said. “You have to take the show on the road now.”
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