Sunday, Feb. 9, 2014 at 2 p.m. (EST)
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The Cardinals Nest
- Despite holding a 15-point lead with 5:26 to play in the game, the Ball State women’s basketball team suffered an 84-81 overtime loss to Mid-American Conference leader Central Michigan at Worthen Arena Thursday night. Over the last two decades the Cardinals have competed at a high level against the Chippewas, from 1996-present the Cardinals own a 27-9 record over CMU. Ball State’s largest win streak against Central Michigan was 11 from 2000 thru 2006. The loss over CMU marks the first for Ball State head women’s basketball coach Brady Sallee, he was previously 2-0 last season against the Chippewas while owning a 10-0 record over Michigan schools’ before Thursday’s contest.
- The Ball State women’s basketball team will take a break from mid-week competition before hosting Akron Saturday, Feb. 15 at Worthen Arena. The game will be televised on Time Warner Sports and ESPN3. Ball State suffered a 87-78 loss in its first meeting against the Zips in the Cardinals Mid-American Conference opener, Jan. 4 at James A. Rhodes Arena.
- Northern Illinois enters Sunday’s contest with an 8-12 overall record and a 4-6 Mid-American Conference mark. The Huskies are looking for a win after suffering back-to-back league losses to Western Michigan (56-43) Feb. 1 and Akron (71-67) Feb. 5. Northern Illinois’ MAC wins came against Ohio (74-51) Jan. 4, Eastern Michigan (77-54) Jan. 12, Miami (69-66) Jan. 18 and Kent State (65-43) Jan. 29. In non-conference action the Huskies owned a 4-6 mark heading into league action with wins over Mississippi Valley State (79-60) Nov. 12, Bradley (63-60) Nov. 21, Lamar (79-52) Nov. 30 and Illinois State (57-52) Dec. 5.
• Sunday’s game against Northern Illinois will mark the 44th time in program history the two schools have met with the Cardinals leading the all-time series 28-15. Ball State won its last two meetings against Northern Illinois. The Cardinals earned a 57-51 victory at the Convocation Center, Jan. 13 and a 64-54 win at Worthen Arena, Feb. 23 in 2013.
• Ball State is 4-4 when they play on Feb. 9. The last time the Cardinals won on this date was an 80-64 victory against Akron in 2007-08. Ball State has never played Northern Illinois on this date. The Cardinals first Mid-American Conference win on this date was a 64-63 victory against Toledo in 1984-85.
• 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 29-16 MAC record when playing at home during conference action. Brady Sallee is 9-4 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 23 points in the Cardinals’ overtime loss against Central Michigan (Feb. 6), Nathalie Fontaine has scored in double digits 46 times out of 53 career games. Fontaine has 780 points for her career as a sophomore and needs 20 to reach 800. The Cardinals have at least nine 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 905 points. The senior guard needs 95 points to achieve the accomplishment. Their are currently 21 former Cardinals who have scored 1,000 points or more at Ball State.
• 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 769 points. Carter needs 30 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 6.7 rebounds over her career.
• Freshman guard Jill Morrison made a season-high six three pointers versus Western Kentucky during non-conference action. Recently, Morrison went 5-for-6 from behind the arc in Mid-American Conference play at Ohio, Jan. 18.
• Junior Nathalie Fontaine earned her third double-double of the season after scoring 14 points while pulling down 14 rebounds at Kent State (Feb. 2). Fontaine had five double-doubles last year and now has a total of eight for her career.
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 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).
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 nine times this season. Ball State has out-rebounded its opponent with double digits on five 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.
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 16-10 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.