WOMEN'S BASKETBALL: McDonald breaks Ball State record in win
There is a new 3-point queen on the Ball State University women's basketball team (3-3).
Her name is Audrey McDonald. McDonald, a senior guard, entered Sunday's game against the University of North Dakota (1-5) needing four 3s to take the top spot in the record book with 254 made 3-point baskets. In the process of sinking those 3s, Ball State defeated North Dakota 89-77.
"It's a great accomplishment. It feels better to do it with a win than a loss," McDonald said. "I'm grateful to have it out of the way and be able to just play."
Before McDonald would break the record, the Cardinals went toe-to-toe with the Fighting Sioux. Each squad held a slim lead throughout the first half, trading the advantage.
"We looked more like the offensive team and tempo that we want to become. We tried to play with a better sense of emotion and general pace of play," coach Kelly Packard said. "We took a step closer to being the team that we're capable of being, but we're still bouncing back and forth right now."
North Dakota extended their lead to seven with just over three minutes left in the first half, but Ball State refused to yield. The Cardinals put together a quick 9-2 run led by a Chloe Barnes three-pointer and an Emily Maggert layup.
Ball State trailed by two at the half.
"My desire was to go 2-0 on this trip. We just didn't play with emotion the other night. We played hard at times, but we have to continue to recognize what makes us successful whether its pace plus emotion or technical aspects," Packard said. "I practiced them really hard [Saturday]. Right now, we have to practice really hard. We didn't play hard against North Dakota State. I was looking for toughness, emotion, response, accountability and just grind some fundamentals out and we got that."
The Cardinals came out of the locker room with plenty of fire and passion. Ball State opened the second half on a 20-6 run. Most of the firepower came from Maggert, Danielle Gratton and McDonald.
"Emily and Danielle played very well," McDonald said. "Emily's killing it on the boards. She's putting up double-doubles every game."
As the Cardinals opened a sizeable lead, McDonald hit her third and fourth shots from beyond the arc around the 12-minute mark in the second half.
"We did a great job of ball movement. They came out in a zone so we got a lot of open looks and then pushed the ball in the second half," McDonald said. "This is great for my confidence, especially since I haven't been shooting the ball as well as I'd like to."
Over the next several minutes Ball State's lead would balloon to as much as 23 before North Dakota fought back. The Fighting Sioux rallied and pulled within 11, but time was not on their side.
In the end, Ball State came away with the 89-77 victory. McDonald led the offense with 22 points. Maggert added 20 points and 16 rebounds, her fourth double-double in six games this season. Gratton added 18 points to help the Ball State cause.
Just 48 hours prior, Ball State fell in defeat to North Dakota State University 65-57 in Fargo, N.D.
"We didn't look like the same team Friday," Packard said. "We played with a different tempo and emotion."