DETROIT, Mich. - Sophomore forward Nathalie Fontaine tied her career high 23 points in the Ball State women's basketball (1-3) 80-74 victory at Detroit Mercy (1-5) Saturday afternoon in Calihan Hall.
"Anytime you are tough enough to win on the road, you have to be excited," said head Ball State women's basketball coach Brady Sallee. "I thought our kids won this game in practice with an effort level that frankly, we have been missing. Today was a step in the right direction."
The Cardinals opened the second half with a 6-2 run, to build their biggest lead of the ball game, 50-36, on a pair of free throws from freshman guard Jill Morrison, senior forward Katie Murphy and junior guard Shelbie Justice.
Much like the first half, the Titans closed the gap to 63-62 with 7:45 left in the game after scoring 27 points to Ball State's 13 over a span of ten minutes. Carter hit a three-point basket in the Cardinals next possession to put Ball State back up by four, 66-62. Both teams would continue to trade baskets up until the two minute mark.
With 1:22 remaining, it was a two-point ball game (76-74), Detroit had a chance to tie the game but the Titans Senee Shearer missed a jumper with 25 seconds on the clock. Detroit was forced to foul Carter, she would then go 4 for 4 from the free throw line to seal the victory for Ball State.
The Cardinals started the game strong, building an early 13-3 lead with just over three minutes into the first half. Detroit Mercy then orchestrated a 16-3 run to take a 19-17 ledger over Ball State at the 8:24 mark.
After getting in foul trouble early, Fontaine scored 10 points off the bench helping Ball State to battle its way back by ending the half with a 27-14 run to give the Cardinals a 44-33 advantage over Detroit at intermission.
Fontaine led the Cardinals in scoring with 23 points while Carter scored 18 points, including four three pointers and remains perfect from the free throw line for the season after going 6 for 6 from the charity stripe. Freshman Jill Morrison tallied 15 points in her first career start. Justice also added 15 points for the win, Murphy had nine and both Fontaine and Merder each had seven rebounds.
The Cardinals Continue a four-game road stretch at the South Point Shootout in Las Vegas, Nev. (Nov. 29-30) before returning home Dec. 7 against Western Kentucky. Ball State will face Auburn first and then close out play against Tennessee Tech, with both games beginning at 3 p.m. (EST).