MANHATTAN, Kansas – Senior guard Shanee' Jackson ended her career on a high note scoring 16 points in the Cardinals 60-48 loss at Kansas State (18-17) Thursday night in the Bramlage Coliseum.
Despite the loss the Ball State women’s basketball team (17-16) advanced to the final 16 of the WNIT for the first time in program history with a 53-48 victory over Northern Iowa and a 54-51 first round upset at Big Ten foe Minnesota. The Cardinals also ended their Mid-American Conference season with a 12-4 record earning Ball State the No. 2 seed in the MAC Tournament.
For the game Brittany Chambers led all scorers with 23 points. Ball State freshman guard Nathalie Fontaine was the lone double-double of the contest with 14 points and 12 rebounds. The Wildcats shot 44.2 percent from the field while the Cardinals were held to a 32.1 shooting percentage. Offensive rebounds hurt Ball State as the Cardinals only had eight to Kansas State’s 15. The Wildcats would score 11 second chance points off those offensive boards.
Both teams went scoreless for over two minutes at the start of the second half. Fontaine would score the first basket at the 17:30 mark. Ball State continued to fight but couldn’t get closer than four (39-35) with 10:55 remaining which came after Jacksons free throws. If the Cardinals got close the Wildcats would answer with a three pointer making 12 treys for the game.
Ball State took an early 12-4 lead in the first five minutes of the contest after Fontaine got the Cardinals off to quick start winning the tip then scoring back-to-back baskets. The Cardinals biggest advantage came at the 14:34 mark after a free throw from junior guard Brandy Woody which put Ball State up 13-4 over the Wildcats.
After that, Kansas State went on an 11-2 run taking their first lead of the ball game (16-15) after a layup from Chambers. Ball State would knot the game 17-17 but the Wildcats strong offense from behind the arc put Kansas State up 31-22 over the Cardinals at the half.