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WBB Hosts Kent State Monday In MAC Tourney

Courtesy: Ball State Athletics
Release: March 09, 2014
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No. 5 Ball State vs. No. 12 Kent State
First Round Mid-American Conference Tournament
Worthen Arena (Capacity 11,500)
Monday, March 10, 2014 at 7 p.m.
Muncie, Ind.
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The Cardinals Nest
- The Ball State women’s basketball team earned its third straight win after posting a 69-56 victory over Toledo in Worthen Arena Saturday afternoon to clinch the No. 5 seed in the Mid-American Conference Tournament, with the win Ball State finishes as the second best team in the MAC West Division behind Central Michigan.  The Cardinals are now set to host the No. 12 seed Kent State Golden Flashes Monday in Worthen Arena at 7 p.m.  The last time Ball State hosted a first round tournament game was in 2009-10, resulting in a 67-43 win over Western Michigan.  The Cardinals were then the No. 7 seed and Western Michigan was No. 10.  Ball State split its series against the Golden Flashes this season, winning 55-31 in Worthen Arena, Jan. 12 and then suffered a 60-57 loss at the M.A.C Center, Feb. 2.

- The Cardinals are 4-0 dating back to 1999-2000 when hosting a first round Mid-American Conference Tournament game.  Ball State defeating Central Michigan 95-81 (1999-200), Akron 72-64 (2004-05), Akron 71-46 (2005-06) and Western Michigan 67-43 (2009-10).

- This season marks the 24th appearance in the Mid-American Conference Tournament in program history.  Ball State has advanced to Cleveland 12 out of the past 14 seasons.  The Cardinals are 16-22 all-time in MAC Tournament play and have advanced to the MAC Tournament finals on four occasions.  Ball State defeated Bowling Green in 2009 in the MAC Tournament Championship game.

- Kent State enters the Mid-American Conference Tournament as the No. 12 seed, right now the Golden Flashes are 2-3 in their last five games.  The Golden Flashes have four wins under their belt in MAC action after defeating Ball State (60-57) Feb. 2, Western Michigan (57-48) Feb. 15, Miami (67-51) Feb. 23 and Ohio (69-64) March 5.   The Golden Flashes are 7-22 overall and 4-14 in league action.

- The last time Ball State faced Kent State in the first round of the Mid-American Conference Tournament was in 1997-98 under the directior of former Ball State head coach Robyn Markey.  The game was played at Kent State where the Golden Flashes defeated the Cardinals by a score of 111-73, marking the largest margin a team has scored in the MAC Tournament over an opponent.

Quick Hitters
• Monday’s game against Kent State will mark the 54th time in program history the two schools have met with the Golden Flashes leading the all-time series 36-17.  Ball State had won its last two meetings against Kent State before suffering a 60-57 setback Feb. 2 in the M.A.C Center. The Cardinals earned a 59-44 victory in Worthen Arena, Jan. 19, 2013 and a 55-31 in Ball State’s 2013-14 Mid-American Conference home opener, Jan. 12. Ball State owns a 5-2 record over the last five years (2008-present) against Kent State.  The Cardinals have not faced Kent State in the Mid-American Confernece Tournament since 2005-06 losing the quarterfinals to the Golden Flashes, 69-52.

• Ball State is 0-4 when it plays on March 10.  The last time the Cardinals played on this date resulted in a 67-56 Mid-American Conference Tournament quarterfinal loss to Toledo in 2009-10.  The Cardinals have never faced Kent State on this date.

• From 2009-present, the Cardinals own a 31-18 MAC record when playing at home during conference action.  Brady Sallee is 11-6 at home during league play.

•  Ball State is 5-4 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, at Miami (80-70) Feb. 20 and at Western Michigan (79-73) March 1. 

• After scoring 26 points in a 69-56 win over Toledo (March 8),  Nathalie Fontaine has scored in double digits 52 times out of 59 career games.  Fontaine has 906 points for her career as a sophomore and needs 94 to reach 1,000.  Fontaine became 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 998 points.  The senior guard needs two 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 four players averaging double figures; Nathalie Fontaine (16.7 ppg) Brittany Carter (11.2 ppg), Brandy Woody (10.2 ppg) and Shelbie Justice (10.0).

• Junior guard Brittany Carter posted a career-high 22 points against Northern Illinois  (March 5) which marked the 43rd game in her career she has scored in double figures.  Carter has surpassed the 800 point mark for her career with 854 points.  Carter needs 46 to reach the 900 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 14.9 points and 6.5 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 guard Brittany Carter accomplished the same feat after making a season-high six three pointers at Central Michigan, Feb. 27 and matched that performance at home against Northern Illinois, March 5.

• 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.

JUSTICE IS SERVED:  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.  Justice has been contributing a lot from the field lately for Ball State scoring in double figures her last seven contests, including 17 points at Miami (2/20) and 16 points at Western Michigan (3/1)--both resulting in wins for the Cardinals.  Justice has played in all 29 games for the Cardinals and has scored in double figures 16 times.
Merder She Wrote:  Freshman Shelby Merder scored a career high 12 points in the Cardinals win at Western Michigan after shooting a perfect 5-for-5 from the field, while going 2-for-2 from behind the arc.  Merder is averaging 3.1 points per contest and 2.1 rebounds.

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).  Fontaine scored 23 points at home against Central Michigan (Feb. 6) and at Western Michigan (March 1).  She also chipped in 26 points in the Cardinals Mid-American Conference regular season finale against Toledo (March 8).  The five 20-point performances, along with her 30-point showing, gives her 10 for the season and 11 for her career.

Taking Tall Orders:  Freshman Renee Bennett, a 6-5 center who is the tallest Ball State player 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 in a win 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 11 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, 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 20-13 (.606) 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.

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.  The Cardinals also made 11 threes at home against Northern Illinois (March 5).

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