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Season for BSU women ends with loss at Toledo in MAC Tourney

By TYSON MATHEWS of the BSU Athletic Dept. -

TOLEDO, Ohio—The No. 11 seed Ball State women's basketball team (8-23) ended its season by falling 67-63 to No. 6 seed Toledo (20-10) Monday night in the first round of the Mid-American Conference Tournament.

Sophomore guard Maliah Howard-Bass led the Cardinals for the third game in a row with a 12-point performance. Sophomore forward Oshlynn Brown had 11 points, while senior guard Jasmin Samz ended the night with 10.

The Cardinals trailed by 14 at one point in the first half but came back in the second half with a purpose. Ball State kept up its defense and made some key baskets to stay within reach of the Rockets, trimming the lead to 57-53 with 4:20 left in the game.

Brown cut it to two with 1:14 to play, but Toledo quickly went back up by five. It was a one-possession game again after senior guard Nakeya Penny hit a 3-pointer with 24.7 seconds on the clock. But Toledo answered again, and Ball State was forced to foul. The Rockets made both free throws to secure their way to the quarterfinals in Cleveland.

Toledo closed out the first quarter with a 17-4 run to take a 21-8 lead heading into the second frame. The Rockets remained in control, but six points from Blake Smith helped Ball State draw to within nine with 4:32 left before halftime. The Rockets eventually took a 33-23 lead into the break.