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WBB Hosts Western Michigan Wednesday In Worthen

Courtesy: Ball State Athletics
Release: January 28, 2014
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Ball State vs. Western Michigan
Worthen Arena (Capacity 11,500)
Wednesday, Jan. 29, 2014 at 7 p.m.
Muncie, Ind.
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The Cardinals Nest

-  For the second time this week, Ball State will play at home in Mid-American Conference action when it hosts MAC West Division foe Western Michigan Wednesday night at 7 p.m.  The game will be televised live by Sports Link TV and can be viewed on Comcast Indiana 81 and Comcast Michigan 900.  The talent for Wednesday’s game will be Tyler Bradfield, Dillon Welch and Matt Organ.

- After Ball State plays its midweek game at home, the team will be back on the road for the third time in the past five games as they head to Kent State for a 2 p.m. tipoff Sunday.  The game against Kent State will mark the second meeting this season between the Cardinals and the Golden Flashes.  Ball State won the previous meeting Jan. 2 by a score of 55-31 at Worthen Arena.

- Western Michigan enters Wednesday’s contest with an 8-10 overall record and a 4-3 Mid-American Conference mark.  The Broncos are coming off a 113-87 loss to MAC leader Central Michigan.  Western Michigan has played Miami twice, winning the contests 88-78 (Jan. 4) and 86-75 in overtime (Jan. 22).  The Broncos have also defeated Buffalo 82-72 (Jan. 7) and Toledo 78-72 (Jan. 18).  Western Michigan has suffered league losses to Ohio (70-53) Jan. 12 and Eastern Michigan 83-77 (Jan. 15).  The Broncos won four non-conference games this season, Massachusetts 66-58 (Nov. 8), Detroit 103-86 (Nov. 14), Chicago State 67-49 (Dec. 1) and Valparaiso (72-50) Dec. 29.

Quick Hitters
 • Wednesday’s game against Western Michigan will mark the 71st time in program history the two schools have met, with the series being tied 35-35.  Last season, the Cardinals swept the Broncos winning a 73-50 (Jan. 31) in Kalamzoo and then 60-46 in Worthen Arena, March 3.  Ball State owns a 15-5 ledger over Western Michigan dating back to the 2004-05 season.

• Ball State is 3-5 when they play on Jan. 29.  The last time the Cardinals won on this date was a 76-75 victory against Marshall in 1997-98.  Ball State has never played Western Michigan on this date.

• The Cardinals were the only team in the Mid-American Conference to own a 12-4 league mark while only having seven active players on their roster in 2012-13.

• From 2009-present, the Cardinals own a 28-15 MAC record when playing at home during conference action.  Brady Sallee is 8-3 at home during league play.

- Ball State was selected to finish second in the MAC West Division preseason poll.  This is the Cardinals highest ranking in the MAC preseason poll since the 2008-09 season, when Ball State was picked to finish first.

• After scoring a career-high 30 points in the Cardinals’ loss to Buffalo (Jan. 26),  Nathalie Fontaine has scored in double digits 44 times out of 50 career games.  Fontaine has 734 points for her career as a sophomore and needs 66 to reach 800.  The Cardinals have at least 12 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 

• Ball State has three players averaging double figures; Nathalie Fontaine (17.3 ppg), Brittany Carter (13.2 ppg) and Jill Morrison (10.1).

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.  Carter has surpassed the 700 point mark for her career with 756 points.  Carter needs 44 points 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 14.7 points and 6.6 rebounds over her career.

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

• In Mid-American Conference games only, Ball State ranks third in 3-point field goal percentage (.345), second in 3-point field goal defense (.273), and third in 3-point field goals made (6.9).  Nathalie Fontaine is fifth in the MAC in scoring (17.7 ppg) while Jill Morrison is second in 3-point field goal percentage (.485).

Jill Morrison entered the week ranked second in the MAC with a .885 free throw percentage.  Morrison, who has made 46 of her 52 attempts this season, is also 21st in the nation in free throw percentage at .885.  Morrison also ranks first in the MAC and 31st nationally in 3-point field goal percentage (.421). 

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).  The pair of 20-point performances, along with her 30 point showing, give her seven for the season and nine for her career.

Taking Tall Orders:  Freshman Renee Bennett, a 6-5 center who is the tallest Cardinal in 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.

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).

Similar Opponents:  Ball State and Western Michigan both played Detroit Mercy this season.  The Cardinals earned their first win of the season at Detroit after posting a 80-74 victory in Calhihan Hall, Nov. 23.  Nathalie Fontaine led the Cardinals in scoring with 23 points while Brittany Carter scored 18 points, including four three pointers.  Jill Morrison tallied 15 points in her first career start.  Shelbie Justice also added 15 points for the win, Katie Murphy had nine and both Fontaine and Merder each had seven rebounds.  Western Michigan defeated Detroit 103-85 on Nov. 14 in Kalamazoo.  Sophomore Miracle Woods scored a team-high 25 points and junior Michelle O’Brien recorded her fourth career double-double.  Woods shot 13-for-14 at the free throw line, setting a new career high for free throws made. She also pulled in eight rebounds and had two blocks. O’Brien totaled 19 points and a game-high 15 rebounds.

80 Is The Magic Number:  When the Cardinals score 80 points or more in a game it results in a Ball State victory.  Ball State beat Detroit Mercy (80-74) Nov. 23, Western Kentucky (85-77) Dec. 6 and IPFW (83-75) Dec. 29.

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 currently owns a 15-5 career Mid-American Conference mark.

D-D-D DEFENSE:  Ball State recently 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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