MUNCIE, Ind. - - The Ball State women’s basketball team improved to 3-4 on the season with an 85-77 win over Western Kentucky Saturday afternoon in Worthen Arena.
After racing out to a 40-22 halftime advantage, the Cardinals allowed the Lady Toppers to go on a 39-15 run to open the second half in a span of 11 minutes to give WKU their first lead of the game at 61-55 with just under 10 minutes remaining in the game.
The Cardinals then answered with a 20-7 scoring surge to give Ball State a 75-68 edge over the Lady Toppers with 4:02 left on the clock. A pair of three pointers from Jill Morrison and Shelby Merder along with free throws from Nathalie Fontaine, Shelbie Justice and Brandy Woody helped the Cardinals regain the advantage.
Morrison was the key to the Cardinals first half splurge as she connected on 5-of-6 three pointers and made 4-of-4 free throws for a 19-point first half. Ball State’s defense limited Western Kentucky to a .265 shooting percentage in the first half to help gain the 18-point lead.
Ball State eventually broke out to an 81-75 advantage at the 1:52 mark after a layup from freshman center Renee Bennett. After that, Bianca McGee hit two from the charity stripe to bring the Lady Toppers back to within four at 81-77, but Woody and Merder would knock down free throws down the stretch for the Cardinals win.
Morrison led Ball State with a career-high 26 points in the game plus added four rebounds and two assists. Fontaine managed 23 points, four rebounds, two assists and one steal for the Cardinals. Woody also scored in double figures with 15 points plus added a team-high eight assists with only one turnover and two steals.
The Cardinals head back on the road to Wyoming, Dec. 14, and then will return to Worthen Arena to take on No. 7 Louisville, Dec. 17, in Worthen Arena at 7 p.m.