No. 2 Ball State vs. No. 3 Akron
Quicken Loans Arena (Capacity 20,562)
Radio: WERK (104.9 FM) - Jay Garrison
WCRD (91.3) FM - Chris Renkal, Zach Huffman and Brad Huber
Television: Sports Time Ohio/Comcast Indiana 81 and ESPN3
MAC Tournament History vs. Akron: Ball State and Akron have met twice previously in the Mid-American Conference Tournament. Both games were at campus sites in 2005 and 2006. The Cardinals won in 2005 (72-64) and in 2006 (71-46). The most recent meeting was at Worthen Arena and pitted the 17-11 Cardinals against the 5-23 Zips. The Cardinals forced 16 turnovers in that game while holding Akron to 32 percent shooting from the field. Ball State was led by Raechelle Hampton's 11 points and five rebounds. Tina Bolte also scored 14 points. The Cardinals only committed 10 fouls in the game.
Chalk Talk: In the Mid-American Conference Tournament's current format, the No. 2 and No. 3 seeds have met in the semifinals all three years. The No. 2 seed is 3-0 in those games. Since 2000, only six lower seeded teams have won a semifinal game. That includes Ball State's 93-84 upset of Miami in 2003. That year the Cardinals were the No. 3 seed and the RedHawks were the two. Ball State went on to lose to Western Michigan in the championship.
Series Record: This is the 30th meeting between Ball State and Akron. The Cardinals lead the all-time series record 17-12. The last time Ball State beat Akron was Jan. 24, 2009 in Rhodes Arena, 61-55. The Cardinals have lost their last three meetings against the Zips. Earlier this season the Cardinals lost to the Zips, 64-52, in Akron, Feb. 16.
The Coaches: Ball State head coach Brady Sallee is in his first season at Ball State. Sallee's career coaching record is 151-123 and he is 15-14 overall and 12-4 in the MAC with the Cardinals. He was named the 11th head women's basketball coach in Ball State history May 10. During his tenure at Eastern Illinois, Sallee posted a 136-109 career record. He led the Panthers to the institution's first-ever Ohio Valley Conference title during the 2009-10 campaign. In 2011-12, Eastern Illinois was 22-9 overall, posted a 13-3 OVC mark and competed in the Women's National Invitation Tournament. Jodi Kest, the 2009-10 Mid-American Conference Coach of the Year, returns for her seventh year as head coach of The University of Akron women's basketball program. She has guided the Zips to Cleveland for the Mid-American Conference tournament for the past three consecutive seasons. Kest owns a 97-118 overall record and a 47-65 league mark.