MUNCIE, Ind. – For the second straight game junior guard Brittany Carter led the Ball State women’s basketball team in scoring with 17 points, but it wasn’t enough as the Cardinals dropped a close contest to Pittsburgh 63-58 Thursday night in their home opener at Worthen Arena.
Ball State took a 56-54 lead with 4:08 to play for its final lead of the contest. A pair of free throws by the Panthers at the 3:32 mark tied the game for the seventh time in the contest at 56-56. Shelbie Justice hit a pair of free throws to close the gap to 59-58 with 1:25 to play, but a layup by Pitt at the 1:08 mark increased the advantage to 61-58. Pittsburgh sealed the game with three seconds remaining on a pair of free throws to give them the final 63-58 margin.
After one half of play, Ball State trailed Pittsburgh, 29-23. Both teams traded baskets throughout the half before the Panthers pulled away from the Cardinals after putting together a 10-5 run which started at the 6:51 mark to give Pitt a 24-17 advantage with 2:29 left on the clock.
Ball State quickly climbed its way back, scoring five straight points after free throws from freshman guard Jill Morrison and senior guard Brandy Woody. The quick comeback was capped off by a layup from freshman forward Shelby Merder to make it a 25-23 contest with 1:28 left in the first half. But the Panthers scored back-to-back layups for the six point lead at intermission.
Woody led the Cardinals with 13 rebounds plus added eight points, one assist and one steal. Carter’s 17 points led all Ball State scorers, while Nathalie Fontaine added 11 and Justice scored 10 and led the Cardinals with five assists.
The Ball State women’s basketball team begins a four-game road swing Wednesday with a 6:30 p.m. tip off at in-state rival Evansville. The Cardinals then play at Detroit Mercy Sat., Nov. 23, at 11 a.m. before heading to the South Point Shootout in Las Vegas, Nev., Nov. 28-29.