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Ball State women end regular season with loss to EMU

By PAULA HAUGHN of the BSU Athletic Dept.

MUNCIE — The Ball State women’s basketball team (8-22, 3-15 MAC) led for 30 minutes in Saturday’s game but Eastern Michigan (13-16, 6-11 MAC) used a 27-14 run in the fourth quarter to win the ball game, 67-57.

It was like déjà vu for the Cardinals and the Eagles in the fourth quarter. The first meeting in Ypsilanti, Mich., between EMU and BSU had also went down to the wire.

Tied at 51-51 with 4:46 left in the game, both teams were fighting to come out on top. EMU used a 16-6 run in the final five minutes of action to come back and take the victory from BSU.

The Cardinals carried their offensive momentum from Wednesday’s win at NIU to Saturday’s contest against the Eagles. Ball State opened the game against Eastern Michigan with a 9-0 run with seven of those points coming from sophomore guard Maliah Howard-Bass.

After the media timeout, the Eagles turned up their defense, holding Ball State to only two field goals the remainder of the first quarter, but Ball State returned the favor and held EMU to only two points, taking a 15-2 lead heading into the second frame of action.

EMU outscored the Cardinals 8-2 in the opening minutes of the second quarter to make a 17-10 game with at the 5:24 mark. Both teams then struggled offensively for over a three-minute stretch. Ball State finally got some baskets to drop in the closing minutes of the first half and took a 26-17 lead at the break.

The Eagles began to click offensively after intermission, outscoring Ball State 11-6, making it a four-point (32-28) ball game with 5:39 left in the third stanza. Freshman forward Thelma Dis Agustsdottir and senior guard Jasmin Samz hit back-to-back baskets to put Ball State back up by nine (37-28) at the media timeout.

But the Eagles continued to push the ball up the court and made some key plays inside the paint to make it a three point contest (43-40) heading into the final frame.

Prior to Saturday’s contest, the Cardinals recognized their lone senior guard Nakeya Penny. Howard-Bass led BSU in scoring with 18 points while classmate Brown finished the game with 14 rebounds.

The Cardinals are the No. 11 seed in the MAC Tournament and traveled to No. 6 Toledo for a first-round game Monday night.