DEKALB, Ill. - For the second straight game Nathalie Fontaine secured the victory for the Cardinals with a layup to give Ball State the 57-51 win at Northern Illinois Sunday evening at the Convocation Center.
With the win the Cardinals improve to 5-10 on the season with a 2-0 start in Mid-American Conference action while the Huskies fall to 5-9 overall and 0-2 in the MAC. The last time Ball State started league play with a 2-0 start was the 2008-09 season.
Ball State led the majority of the second half until NIU would go on a 7-0 run after the Cardinals had led 43-38 at the 12:26 mark to make it a 45-43 contest. Soon after that, the Cardinals regained control after putting a lot defensive pressure on the Huskies. A jumper from Fontaine and a free throw from junior guard Brandy Woody, put Ball State back up by six (53-47) with 4:18 left to play. The Huskies came within two (53-51) with 1:22 on the clock but Fontaine's back-to-back baskets sealed the win for BSU.For the game, Fontaine tied her career high with an 18 point performance. Junior forward Katie Murphy had 12 while Woody ended the night with 10.
It was a defensive battle in the first half for both teams, after Ball State opened the contest with a 10-3 lead over Northern Illinois. The Huskies then put together an 8-0 run to tie the game at 10-10 with 11:27 remaining in the half.
After that both teams traded baskets for the remainder of the half, the Cardinals went ahead 27-25 after Woody hit a three pointer with 36 seconds left but Satavia Taylor knocked down two from the charity stripe for NIU to end the half tied 27-2 7with Ball State.
The Ball State women's basketball team continues Mid-American Conference action Wednesday on the road when it plays Bowling Green at the Stroh Center with a 7 p.m. tipoff.