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WBB Hosts Akron In Basketball Bonanza Saturday

Courtesy: Ball State Athletics
Release: February 14, 2014
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Ball State vs. Akron
Worthen Arena (Capacity 11,500)
Saturday, Feb. 15, 2014 at Noon
Muncie, Ind.
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The Cardinals Nest

- Ball State plays the second of its two repeat Mid-American Conference cross divisional opponents this season, with a rematch against Akron Saturday at Noon in Worthern Arena.  The Cardinals suffered an 87-78 loss to the Zips in the first meeting in James A. Rhodes Arena, Jan. 4.  Ball State is 2-4 against MAC East Division this season with wins over Kent State (55-31) Jan. 12 and Ohio (79-63) Jan. 18 and losses to Akron (87-78) Jan. 4, Bowling Green (72-61) Jan. 15, Buffalo (73-69) Jan. 26 and Kent State (60-57) Feb. 2.

- The Ball State women’s basketball team closes to Mid-American Conference cross divisional action when it travels to Miami University Thursday, Feb. 20 for a 2 p.m. tipoff in Millett Hall.  The Cardinals last faced the RedHawks in Muncie, Jan. 10, 2013 which resulted in a 62-59 win for Ball State.

- Akron is riding a seven-game winning streak entering Saturday’s contest, improving the Zips overall record to 14-8 and 8-3 in the Mid-American Conference, which puts Akron in third in league action just behind Central Michigan (11-0 MAC) and Bowling Green (10-1 MAC).  The Zips three losses came against Central Michigan (109-83) Jan. 9, Bowling Green (81-65) Jan. 15 and Miami (79-76) Jan. 15.  So far this season, Akron has knocked off five Mid-American Conference West Division opponents, Ball State (87-78) Jan. 4, Eastern Michigan (101-79) Jan. 26, Toledo (82-62) Jan. 30, Northern Illinois (71-67) Feb. 5 and Western Michigan (79-66) Feb. 8. 

- Today’s game marks the only Ball State men’s and women’s basketball double-header of the season.  The last time both teams won a conference double-header was in 2010-11 when the Cardinals earned wins over Central Michigan, Jan. 15.  The Ball State men’s basketball team posted a 64-55 victory over the Chippewas and the Ball State women’s basketball team took down CMU, 86-77.

Quick Hitters
• Saturday’s game against Akron will mark the 32nd time in program history the two schools have met with the Cardinals leading the all-time series 17-14.  The last time Ball State beat Akron was Jan. 24, 2009 in James A. Rhodes Arena by a score of 61-55.  The Cardinals have lost their last four meetings against the Zips.  Ball State has not defeated Akron in John E. Worthen Arena since the 2007-08 season, when the Cardinals claimed an 80-64 victory Feb. 9, 2008.

• Ball State is 3-7 when they play on Feb. 15.  The last time the Cardinals won on this date was a 64-49 victory against Toledo in 2005-06.  Ball State has played Akron once on this date, which resulted in a 74-67 victory for the Cardinals in 1996-97.

• 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 2013-14 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 18 points in the Cardinals’ win at Northern Illinois (Feb. 9),  Nathalie Fontaine has scored in double digits 47 times out of 54 career games.  Fontaine has 798 points for her career as a sophomore and needs two to reach 800.  The Cardinals have at least eight 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 914 points.  The senior guard needs 86 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 (17.0 ppg) and Brittany Carter (11.6 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.  Carter has surpassed the 700 point mark for her career with 782 points.  Carter needs 18 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 14.8 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. 

• 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. 

• 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 22 game 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 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.

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 17-10 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.

WHERE DO THE CARDINALS RANK IN THE MAC:  Entering this week, Nathalie Fontaine is currently second in field goal percentage (.538) while teammate Jill Morrison ranks third in three-point field goal percentage (.449).  In all games played this season Morrison tops the list in free throw percentage (.885) after making 46 free throws off of 52 attempts from the charity stripe.

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