MUNCIE, Ind. - Ball State’s women’s basketball team posted a 69-56 win over Toledo in Worthen Arena Saturday afternoon to clinch the No. 5 seed in the Mid-American Conference Tournament.
The Cardinals will host 12th-seeded Kent State Monday in a 7 p.m. game at Worthen Arena.
After Toledo closed the gap to 55-53 with 4:05 to go in the game, Ball State scored six straight points to increase the lead to 61-53 with 2:22 to play. The final two minutes saw the Cardinals outscore the Rockets 8-3 and sealed the victory and the No. 5 seed in the upcoming MAC Tournament.
Nathalie Fontaine scored nine points with just five minutes shaved off the clock to start the second half and put the Cardinals up by 17 (36-21) at the 14:39 mark. With 13:55 to play, the Cardinals had built a 17 point lead (40-23) after free throws from Brittany Carter. Toledo would fight its way back after putting together a 24-10 run over a span of seven minutes to come within three (50-47) with 6:08 remaining in the contest.
The Cardinals would cling onto their lead after Fontaine put Ball State back up by six (55-49) after hitting a three pointer at the 4:24 mark. Toledo hit back-to-back layups to make it a 55-53 game with 4:05 left to play. Just under the two minute mark, Ball State led 63-55 after a layup from Carter. Fontaine, Shelbie Justice, Brandy Woody and Carter hit their free throws down the stretch going a combined 12-for-15 from the line to seal the win.
Fontaine ended the game with 26 points after scoring 22 in the second half alone, while Justice added 14 and Woody scored 11. Woody led the Cardinals with seven rebounds, while Katie Murphy and Carter grabbed six boards apiece.
Both teams traded baskets for the first five minutes of the ball game. Toledo led 5-4 at the 14:52 mark and wouldn't lead again the remainder of the half. After that, Ball State would dominate the first half. Justice hit back-to-back three pointers sparking a 13-6 run for the Cardinals to give the Cardinals the 18-10 advantage with 9:38 on the clock. The Cardinals managed 14 second chance points in the first period and limited Toledo to a 19.4 shooting percentage giving Ball State the 27-15 halftime advantage over Toledo.
Final pairings for the MAC Tournament will be available after the conclusion of all of Saturday’s games. Please continue to check ballstatesports.com for the most up to date information.