Worthen Arena (Capacity 11,500)
Wednesday, March 5, 2014 at 7 p.m.
• Radio WERK 104.9 (Jay Garrison), WCRD 91.3
• Internet www.ballstatesports.com
The Cardinals Nest
- Ball State is coming off of a two-game road trip before entering Wednesday’s game against Northern Illinois. Last week the Cardinals went wire-to-wire with Mid-American Conference leader Central Michigan losing 85-72 in overtime, Feb. 27. In less than 48 hours the Cardinals had to play at Western Michigan which resulted in a 79-73 victory for Ball State. Ball State is 4-3 against MAC West Division opponents this season and will face the Huskies for the second time around, Wednesday at 7 p.m. in Worthen Arena. Ball State took the first meeting over Northern Illinois, 63-50, Feb. 9 in DeKalb.
- After Ball State plays Northern Illinois, the Cardinals will face Toledo for the second game of their Mid-American Conference two-game home series Saturday, at 2 p.m. in Worthen Arena. The Cardinals fell 73-61 to the Rockets in the first meeting Jan. 23. Saturday’s game will be Senior Day where the Cardinals will say farewell to their two seniors--forward Katie Murphy and guard Brandy Woody.
- If the Mid-American Conference Tournament were to start today, Northern Illinois would be the ninth seed and would have to travel for the first round of the MAC Tournament. The Huskies enter Wednesday’s contest after suffering a 54-45 loss at Eastern Michigan Sunday in the Convocation Center. Before the loss to the Eagles the Huskies earned a 68-59 victory over Toledo in overtime, Feb. 27. Northern Illinois is 2-6 against the MAC West Divsion. With wins over Eastern Michigan (77-54) Jan. 12 and Toledo (68-59 OT) Feb. 27. The Huskies six losses came against Toledo (73-71) Jan. 9, Central Michigan (65-60) Jan. 15, Western Michigan (56-43) Feb. 1, Ball State (63-50) Feb. 9, Central Michigan (85-77) Feb. 22 and Eastern Michigan (54-45) March 2.
- Let the countdown begin, Ball State has a guaranteed two games after Wednesday’s contest against Northern Illinois which includes one home games and one Mid-American Conference Tournament competition. Ball State currently sits in seventh place in the MAC standings with a 7-9 league mark. The Cardinals close out conference action at home against Toledo (March 8). The last time Ball State closed the regular season at home was in 2007-08, with wins over Western Michigan (March 1) and Northern Illinois (March 5).
• Wednesday’s game against Northern Illinois will mark the 45th time in program history the two schools have met with Ball State leading the all-time series 29-15. Ball State has won its last three meetings against Northern Illinois. The Cardinals earned a 63-50 victory at the Convocation Center, Feb. 9. Ball State won the series last season over Northern Illinois posting a 57-51 win in DeKalb, Jan. 13, and a 64-54 win at Worthen Arena Feb. 23.
• Ball State is 6-6 when it plays on March 5. The last time the Cardinals played on this date resulted in an 82-73 first round Mid-American Conference Tournament loss at Buffalo in 2010-11. The Cardinals have faced Northern Illinois once on this date, resulting in a 76-70 overtime victory for Ball State in 2007-08 at Worthen Arena.
• From 2009-present, the Cardinals own a 29-18 MAC record when playing at home during conference action. Brady Sallee is 9-6 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 23 points in a 79-73 win at Western Michigan (March 1), Nathalie Fontaine has scored in double digits 51 times out of 58 career games. Fontaine has 873 points for her career as a sophomore and needs 27 to reach 900. The Cardinals have at least three 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 978 points. The senior guard needs 22 points to achieve the accomplishment. Their are currently 21 former Cardinals who have scored 1,000 points or more at Ball State.
• Junior guard Brittany Carter posted a season-high 21 points at Central Michigan (Feb. 27) which marked the 42nd game in her career she has scored in double figures. Carter has surpassed the 800 point mark for her career with 824 points. Carter needs 76 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 14.8 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 Cetnral Michigan, Feb. 27.
• 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 five 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 27 games for the Cardinals and has scored in double figures 14 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 3.2 points per contest and 2.2 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). The four 20-point performances, along with her 30-point showing, gives her nine 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 19-13 (.593) 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.