Junior center Renee Bennett attempts to score a shot during the game against Buffalo on Jan. 13 in Worthen Arena. DN PHOTO GRACE RAMEY
Women's basketball wins in Kalamazoo, Cardinals improve to 14-4
Ball State women’s basketball (14-4, 6-1 Mid-American Conference) handed the Western Michigan Broncos (12-7, 4-3 MAC) its first home loss Jan. 23, 77-51.
Junior center Renee Bennett led the Cardinals with 21 points and 10 rebounds – both career highs – for her first career double-double.
Ball State rebounds - 40
Western Michigan rebounds - 28
Ball State points in paint - 36
Western Michigan points in paint - 26
Ball State is now 5-4 away from Worthen Arena and 9-0 at home. After the Jan. 16 home victory against Eastern Michigan, head coach Brady Sallee said the Cardinals would win on the road in the MAC “in the same way we’ve done it all year.”
Against Western Michigan, his words rang true.
The Cardinals entered the game with the top rebounding margin in the MAC, hauling in an average of 6.7 more rebounds per game than their opponents and out-rebounding the Broncos 40-28.
Offensive efficiency has also been a strong suit for Ball State, which entered the game with a MAC-best 43.4 shooting percentage. The Cardinals hit 50 percent of their shots from the floor against the Broncos.
Ball State also outscored Western Michigan in the paint 36-26, marking the 14th time the Cardinals have outscored their opponents near the basket in the team's 18 games this season.
Western Michigan kept the game close after the first quarter, 15-13, but Ball State opened the second quarter with a 17-0 run to increase its lead to 32-13.
During the run, junior guard Jill Morrison sank four free throws and a 3-point shot for seven of her 15 points.
Senior guard and Ball State’s second all-time leading scorer Nathalie Fontaine also scored 15 points in the game to increase her career total to 1,885, 105 points behind Tamara Bowie’s record.
Ohio University awaits Ball State in their next game on Jan. 30. In the teams' last meeting in Athens, Ohio, on Jan. 6, the Bobcats beat the Cardinals 73-48.