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Persons leads hot shooting Ball State over Howard 98-71

MUNCIE, Ind. (AP) — Tayler Persons scored 20 points on 7-of-10 shooting Thursday night and Ball State made 14 3-pointers in a 98-71 victory over Howard.

Tahjai Teague added 17 points on 8-of-9 shooting and grabbed nine rebounds for the Cardinals (8-4), who have won seven of eight. Ball State shot 34 of 58 (59 percent) from the field and 14 of 29 (48 percent) from 3-point range.

Ishmael El-Amin scored 15 in his first career start and Kyle Mallers and Zach Gunn added 12 points each. Persons was 3 of 5 from 3-point range and Mallers hit 4 of 7.

Ball State opened the game with an 18-6 lead, but Howard responded to go in front at 28-24. The Cardinals retook the lead for good with an 8-0 run and pulled away in the second half to lead by as many as 33.

Charles Williams and Raymond Bethea Jr. had 14 points each for the Bison (6-6), who lost their third straight. RJ Cole and Kyle Foster added 11 points apiece.