MUNCIE, Ind. – Despite holding a 15-point lead with 5:26 to play in the game, the Ball State women’s basketball team suffered an 84-81 overtime loss to Mid-American Conference leader Central Michigan at Worthen Arena Thursday night.
With the loss, Ball State falls to 9-12 overall and 4-6 in the MAC, while the Chippewas improved to 14-8 in all games and 10-0 in league play.
In a game where the lead changed four times and the score was tied five times, Nathalie Fontaine’s 23 points was not enough to lead the Cardinals to victory.
The Cardinals carried their first half momentum into the second half with its largest cushion being 19 (47-28) at the 18:35 mark. Central Michigan then answered with a 19-8 run to make the score 55-47 with 11:54 remaining in the game.
With 8:56 left to play, Ball State regained control with three pointers from Jill Morrison and Brittany Carter to put the Cardinals back up by 12 (61-49) but Central Michigan continued to claw its way back into the game to come within two (68-66) with 1:03 left on the clock after Crystal Bradford knocked down a three for the Chippewas. After a Ball State turnover, Da’Jurie Turner would hit a layup to tie the game at 68-68 to send the game into overtime.
In the overtime, the Cardinals tied the game at 73-73 with 2:50 to play on a pair of Fontaine free throws. A layup from Shelbie Justice would tie the game at 75-75 with 2:22 remaining, but the Chippewas would lead for the remainder of the game and claim the 84-81 win.
Ball State dominated the first half of the game and led 40-28 at the half. The Cardinals managed 14 second chance points in the first period and limited CMU’s high-powered offense to 33 percent shooting from the field.
Justice ended the contest with 10 points and 12 rebounds, while Woody added 14 points, six rebounds and three assists.
The Ball State women's basketball team continues MAC action on the road Sunday at Northern Illinois. Tipoff is at 2 p.m. (EST) in the Convocation Center.