No. 16 Ball St. 106, Elon 65
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MUNCIE, Ind. (AP) _ Theron Smith scored 20 points and had 17 rebounds, and No. 16 Ball State set a school record with 14 3-pointers as it routed Elon 106-65 on Friday night.
It was Ball State’s first game since breaking into the Top 25 after upsetting No. 3 UCLA and No. 4 Kansas last week at the Maui Invitational.
Ball State (3-1) took control with a 19-4 run at the end of the first half to build a 44-29 lead, then sealed the victory with a 15-0 run in the second half.
Elon (2-4) was led by David Hall, who finished with 23 points, 17 in the first half.
Ball State started sluggishly and Elon took advantage, using a 7-0 run to tie the score at 25 with 4:22 left in the half.
But Zach Willingham and Patrick Jackson responded with back-to-back 3-pointers to break the tie and start the Cardinals on their first big run. Ball State’s previous school record was 13 3-pointers, which had been accomplished seven times most recently against Kansas last week.
In the second half, Ball State held Elon scoreless for nearly four minutes as it extended the lead to 64-37. The Phoenix never challenged again.
Chris Williams scored 19 points, while Jackson and Rob Robbins each added 17 for the Cardinals. All the Ball State players scored, as the Cardinals scored their most points in a game since Jan. 31, 1998 against Ohio University.
Ball State faces Austin Peay in the championship of the First Merchants Classic on Saturday night. Elon plays Binghamton in the consolation final.