Persons propels Ball State past Stony Brook in home opener

Ball State University cardinal logo. (Image Provided)

MUNCIE, Ind. (AP) — Tayler Persons poured in 29 points on 12-of-18 shooting and keyed a late run as Ball State rallied to defeat Stony Brook 87-76 in their home opener on Friday night.

The Cardinals (1-2) were clinging to a 67-64 lead when Persons got hot. The junior guard, who also grabbed six rebounds, hit two 3-pointers and scored 10 of Ball State’s next 12 points to increase the Cardinals’ lead to 79-69. The Seawolves (0-3) got no closer than five points over the final 2:29.

Freshman Kyle Mallers scored 16 and Tahjai Teague contributed 13 points, six rebounds and five steals for Ball State, which trailed 42-34 at halftime.

U.C. Iroegbu scored 18 and Junior Saintel notched a double-double — 16 points, 10 rebounds — for the Seawolves. Akwasi Yeboah added 15 points, five boards and four assists.

Ball State shot 50.9 percent from the floor, connecting on 27 of 53 shots, but just 6 of 18 (33 percent) from 3-point range. Stony Brook connected on 24 of 57 shots (42.1 percent), including 10 of 27 (37 percent) from long range.

Stony Brook controlled the boards 38-29 in the first meeting between the schools.