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WBB Travels To MAC Leader Central Michigan Thursday

Courtesy: Ball State Athletics
Release: February 26, 2014
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Ball State vs. Central Michigan
McGuirk Arena (Capacity 5,300)
Thursday, Feb. 27, 2014 at 7 p.m.
Mt. Pleasant, Mich.
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The Cardinals Nest

- Ball State continues its second tour through the  Mid-American Conference West Division opponents this season, with a rematch against Central Michigan Thursday at 7 p.m. in McGuirk Arena.  The Cardinals took the MAC leader into overtime Feb. 6 in Worthen Arena but came up short, losing 84-81. Ball State is 3-3 against MAC West Division opponents this season with wins over Eastern Michigan (70-66) Jan. 9, Western Michigan (56-43) Jan. 29 and Northern Illinois (63-50) Feb. 9.  The Cardinals MAC West Division losses came against Toledo (73-61) Jan. 23, Central Michigan (84-81 OT) Feb. 6 and Eastern Michigan (60-62) Feb. 23.

- Ball State will face Western Michigan for the second game of their Mid-American Conference two-game series Saturday, March 1 at 2 p.m. in Read Fieldhouse.  The Cardinals took down the Broncos 56-43 in their first meeting Jan. 29.   Ball State will then close out the MAC regular season at home in Worthen Arena Wednesday, March 6 against Northern Illinois at 7 p.m. and then Toledo Saturday, March 8 at 2 p.m.

- Central Michigan remains the Mid-American Conference West Division leader with an overall record of 17-9 and a 13-1 league mark.  The Chippewas lone MAC lost came against Bowling Green who currently is currently tied with Central Michigan for the top spot in the conference rankings.  The Chippewas recently defeated Northern Illinois on the road 85-77, Feb. 22.

- Let the countdown begin, Ball State has a guaranteed four games after
Thursday’s contest at Central Michigan which includes two home games, one road trip and one Mid-American Conference Tournament competition.  Ball State currently sits in seventh place in the MAC standings with a 6-8 league mark.  The Cardinals close out conference action at home against Northern Illinois (March 6) and Toledo (March 8).  The last time Ball State closed the regular season at home was in 2007-08, with wins over Western Michigan (March 1) and Northern Illinois (March 5).

Quick Hitters
• Thursday’s game against Central Michigan will mark the 69th time in program history the two schools have met with the all-time series tied at 34-34.  The Cardinals suffered an 84-81 overtime loss in Worthen Arena against the Chippewas, Feb. 6.   Before the loss, Ball State had won its last two against Central Michigan. The Cardinals earned a 68-61 victory in Worthen Arena, Feb. 7 and a 67-63 win at Central Michigan, Feb. 28 both in 2013.

• Central Michigan head women’s basketball coach Sue Guevara was an assistant coach at Ball State in 1985-86.

• Ball State is 4-4 when they play on Feb. 27.  The Cardinals last won on this date at home in 2009-10 after posting a 66-60 victory over Northern Illinois.  Ball State owns a 1-0 record on this date against Central Michigan winning 81-69 in Mt. Pleasant in 2007-08.

•  From 2000-present Ball State has only lost at Central Michigan a total of five times.  The Cardinals have won a  total of eight games in Mt. Pleasant over that time span.

• From 2009-present, the Cardinals own a 29-18 MAC record when playing at home during conference action.  Brady Sallee is 9-6 at home during league play.

•  The Cardinals are currently feeling more comfortable playing on the road then they have at home.  Ball State is currently 4-3 in the Mid-American Conference when playing on the road with wins at Eastern Michigan (70-66) Jan. 9, at Ohio (79-63) Jan. 18, at Northern Illinois (63-50) Feb. 9 and at Miami (80-70) Feb. 20.  Ball State is 2-5 at home.

• After scoring 16 points in the loss to Eastern Michigan (Feb. 23),  Nathalie Fontaine has scored in double digits 49 times out of 56 career games.  Fontaine has 835 points for her career as a sophomore and needs 65 to reach 900.  The Cardinals have at least five games remaining this season and Fontaine could become just the second Ball State player in program history to reach 900 points by the end of her sophomore year.  Tamara Bowie (1999-2003) was the first to accomplish the feat with 943. 

•  Brandy Woody is nearing the 1,000 point career mark with 955 points.  The senior guard needs 45 points to achieve the accomplishment.  Their are currently 21
former Cardinals who have scored 1,000 points or more at Ball State.

• Ball State has two players averaging double figures; Nathalie Fontaine (16.5 ppg) and  Brittany Carter (10.7 ppg).

Shelbie Justice collected her first career double-double at Eastern Michigan (Jan. 9).  Justice pulled down a career-high 12 rebounds while adding 15 points in the Cardinals win.

• Junior guard Brittany Carter posted 13 points at Toledo (Jan. 23) which marked the 41st game in her career she has scored in double figures.  For her career, as she is sitting at 799 after scoring seven points versus Eastern Michigan last Sunday.  Carter needs one point to reach the 800 milestone.

Nathalie Fontaine, the 2012-13 MAC Freshman of the Year, averaged 13.2 points per game and 6.6 rebounds in her first season at Ball State.  Fontaine was named to the MAC All-Freshmen squad, while also earning All-MAC Second Team honors.  As a true freshman, Fontaine ended the season just eight points shy of what Ball State’s all-time leading scorer Tamara Bowie had when she was a true freshman.  Fontaine ended the season with 423 points while Bowie tallied 431 points her freshman year.  Fontaine is now averaging 14.6 points and 6.6 rebounds over her career.

• Freshman guard Jill Morrison made a season-high six three pointers versus
Western Kentucky during non-conference action.  Morrison went 5-for-6 from behind the arc in Mid-American Conference play at Ohio, Jan. 18. 

• Sophomore Nathalie Fontaine earned her fourth double-double of the season after
scoring 16 points while pulling down 10 rebounds versus Eastern Michigan (Feb. 23).  Fontaine had five double-doubles last year and now has a total of nine for her career. 

• The Cardinals have held their opponents’ leading scorer to below their points and or field goal percentage in half of Ball State’s games this season.  In 24 games the Cardinals managed to hold 12 leading scorers to below what they would normally shoot from the field, and 11 of those top players to below their scoring average per game.

Fontaine Scores 20 or More:  Sophomore forward Nathalie Fontaine scored a career-best 30 points at home against Buffalo (Jan. 26).  She managed a 20-point performance at home against Bowling Green (Jan. 5) and then matched the performance the next time out at Ohio (Jan. 18).  Recently, Fontaine scored 23 points at home against Central Michigan (Feb. 6).  The three 20-point performances, along with her 30-point showing, give her eight for the season and 10 for her career.

Taking Tall Orders:  Freshman Renee Bennett, a 6-5 center who is the
tallest Cardinal in program school history, scored a personal-best 14 points against Tennessee Tech (Nov. 30) at the South Point Shootout in Las Vegas, Nev. and at IPFW Dec. 29.  She brought down a season best eight rebounds at Wyoming, Dec. 14 and at home against Akron, Feb. 15.

Winchester Wonder:  Jill Morrison has made eight career starts so far this season at Detroit (11/23), against Tennessee Tech (11/30), at home versus
Western Kentucky (12/6) at Wyoming (12/14), at home versus No. 7 Louisville (12/17), at Northen Kentucky (12/21), at IPFW (12/29) and at Akron (1/4).  She has scored in double figures in eight of her last 16 contests, including a career-high 26-point performance in a win at home over Western Kentucky.  Morrison also added 15 points in wins against Detroit Mercy (11/23), Tennessee Tech (11/30), 17 points in a loss to Louisville (12/17), 14 points in a win at IPFW (12/29) and a loss at Akron (1/4).  She recently scored 19 points in a victory at Ohio (1/18).

From the Charity Stripe:  When the Cardinals make 29 or more free throws in a game it results in a win for Ball State.  The Cardinals made 29 at Detroit Mercy (11/23) and Tennessee Tech (11/30) both resulting in victories.  Ball State made a season-high 32 free throws at home against Western Kentucky (12/6).

Rebound That Basketball:  The Cardinals pulled down a season-best 51 rebounds in a win at Eastern Michigan, Jan. 9.  Ball State pulled down 46 versus Tennessee Tech, Nov. 30, also resulting in a victory.  The Cardinals have out-rebounded their opponents 10 times this season.  Ball State has out-rebounded its opponent with double digits on six different occasions, Pittsburgh (44-to-33) Jan. 14, Tennessee Tech (46-to-35) Nov. 30,  Northern Kentucky (45-to-35) Dec. 21, Eastern Michigan (51-to-40) Jan. 9 and Western Michigan (34-to-23) Jan. 29 and Miami (44-to-25) Feb. 20.

Brady Ball:  Head Ball State women’s basketball coach Brady Sallee was a head coach at Eastern Illinois from 2004-12 which is a member of the Ohio Valley Conference, where he posted a 91-55 (.623) overall league record. In his first two seasons at Ball State, he owns a 18-12 (.600) career Mid-American Conference mark.

D-D-D DEFENSE:  Ball State defeated Kent State 55-31 in Worthen Arena, Feb. 12.  The Cardinals had not held an opponent to 31 points since the 1974-75 season, when Ball State defeated Notre Dame, 78-31, Feb. 8 in South Bend, Ind.  That same season, the Cardinals defeated Goshen, 66-30, Feb. 21.

NOTHING BUT NET: Ball State had its best shooting performance of the season at Ohio (Jan. 18).  The Cardinals shot 58.7 percent from the field which included a 72.2 percent showing from behind the arc.

DID YOU KNOW:  Ball State is the only Mid-American Conference school to have beaten reigning 2013 MAC Champion Central Michigan last season not once but twice.  The Cardinals defeated the Chippewas at home 68-61 Feb. 7 and then again in Mt. Pleasant 67-63, Feb. 28.

BEHIND THE ARC:  Ball State’s 13 threes against Ohio (Jan. 18) were the most in a game since the Cardinals hit 14 against Buffalo, Feb. 10, 2010.

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