Ball State's women's basketball team suffered a five point loss, 58-53, at Valparaiso Saturday despite a 14-point performance from Nathalie Fontaine.
The Cardinals had three players in double figures, led by Fontaine, including a 13-point performance from Brittany Carter and 12 from Brandy Woody.
Two Ball State players saw their first action for the Cardinals when Alex Southworth and Lyzz Smith entered the game in the first half. Southworth ended the contest with one steal in eight minutes, while Smith managed four points, one steal and one assist.
The first half was a story of runs for both teams. The Cardinals went on a 10-0 run to take a 19-point lead with 5:08 left in the first half, but the Crusaders responded with an 11-0 run to close the gap to 30-22 at the end of the half.
After leading 30-22 at the half, Ball State opened up the lead in the second half to 36-25 on a layup by Woody at the 17:33 mark.
Valparaiso put together a 6-0 run and closed the ga to 36-32 with 15:20 to play. Ball State held the lead until Valparaiso tied the contest at 42-42 with 8:19 in the game.
The Cardinals would close the gap to two at 52-50 on a Woody three pointer with 3:38 left, but Valparaiso would connect on 17-of-19 free throws in the second half to secure the win.
Ball State held the Crusaders to 33.3 percent shooting from the field, but could only connect on 34.5 percent of its own field goals in the contest.
Katie Murphy and Woody led Ball State with six rebounds apiece, while Woody added two assists and three steals.
With the loss, the Cardinals fall to 3-10 on the season, while Valparaiso improved to 4-8 on the year.
Ball State will have a break in the schedule and not play again until opening Mid-American Conference play at home vs. Miami University Jan. 10.