Persons’ last-second 3 lifts Ball St over Valparaiso 71-70

MUNCIE, Ind. (AP) Tayler Persons scored 23 points, including seven straight down the stretch and the game-winning 3-pointer with 3.3 seconds left, and Ball State beat Valparaiso 71-70 on Saturday to win its fifth straight.

The Crusaders regained the lead 60-56 after an 11-2 run capped by Bakari Evelyn’s 3-pointer, but the Cardinals led 68-67 on Persons’ jumper with 2:08 to go.

Max Joseph hit two free throws for a 69-68 Valparaiso lead and Jon Kiser added one of two to make it 70-68 with 14 seconds left. Trey Moses got the defensive rebound and Persons drained a 3 from the top of the key to win it. Valpo’s shot at the buzzer bounced off the backboard.

Persons hit a game-winning 3 with 1.7 seconds left to upset No. 9 Notre Dame 80-77 on Tuesday.

Kyle Mallers, Moses and Jeremie Tyler scored 10 apiece for the Cardinals (6-4) who trailed 31-29 at halftime. Persons had five assists and Moses had six.

Joe Burton scored 17 points with four 3-pointers, Evelyn added 14 points and Derrik Smits had 12 for the Crusaders (8-2).