MUNCIE, Ind. – Brittany Carter scored a career high 23 points in Ball State’s 67-57 Mid-American Conference win over Northern Illinois at home Wednesday night in Worthen Arena.
With the victory, Ball State clinched at least home court Monday night for a first round game in the MAC Tournament. The Cardinals could still earn the fourth seed for the MAC Tournament and earn a bye to the quarterfinals in Cleveland, Ohio. If the Cardinals play a Monday game against an opponent to be determined, the winner will advance to the Wednesday game in Cleveland.
Ball State improved to 13-15 overall and 8-9 in MAC play, while the Huskies fell to 9-18 overall and 5-12 in league action.
Ball State put together a 16-4 run over the course of seven minutes in the second half to turn a close game into a 15-point advantage (61-46) with 6:17 remaining. Three pointers from Shelbie Justice and Carter along with layups from Bennett and Fontaine sparked the rally and sealed the win for the Cardinals.
Carter knocked down a three point basket to open the second half for the Cardinals, but Northern Illinois answered quickly with an 11-0 run to make it a 40-38 ball game with 15:56 on the clock. The Huskies continued to play close to the Cardinals making it a three point ball game (45-42) at the 13:17 mark.
For the first 10 minutes of the ball game both teams started off slow offensively with Northern Illinois leading 10-6 at the 11:39 mark. Ball State answered with back-to-back three pointers from Jill Morrison and Carter, which sparked an 11-0 run for the Cardinals to give Ball State the 17-10 edge over the Huskies. The Cardinals led the remainder of the way and would close the half with an 8-0 run to give Ball State the 35-27 advantage over Northern Illinois at intermission.
Carter led the Cardinals with her career high 23 points plus added five rebounds, six assists and three steals. Justice tallied 13 points, while Nathalie Fontaine added seven points, seven rebounds and two blocked shots.
The Ball State women's basketball team will close out its Mid-American Conference regular season when it hosts Toledo Saturday for a 2 p.m. tipoff in Worthen Arena. The Cardinals will also recognize their seniors Katie Murphy and Brandy Woody before the start of the game.