Sophomore center Renee Bennett goes up for a shot during the game against Evansville on Nov. 19 at Worthen Arena. DN PHOTO BREANNA DAUGHERTY
Ball State women's basketball looks to bounce back against Chicago State
Ball State women's basketball (3-2) hosts Chicago State Thursday evening looking to right the ship.
Chicago State is 0-6, but they'll still be taken seriously by the Cardinals.
“Listen, Chicago State is going to beat somebody, and we don’t want it to be us," head coach Brady Sallee said. "But more than that, we want the taste out of our mouth from that East Carolina game. … We’ve got a chance to take a huge step forward or keep scratching our heads, so we definitely want to get ourselves well.”
Ball State leading scorers
Moriah Monaco: 17.6 points per game
Renee Bennett: 14.0 points per game
Jill Morrison: 11.7 points per game
Destiny Washington: 9.0 points per game
Calyn Hosea: 8.4 points per game
The Cardinals are coming off of a 1-2 showing at the Savannah Invitational in Savannah, Georgia, that included an 82-69 overtime loss to East Carolina (6-2). Ball State had a chance to ice the game in regulation, but missed two of four free throws in the last 35 seconds, and East Carolina tied the game on a 3-pointer with four seconds left.
"We lost a game, let’s face it, because of free throws," Sallee said. "We went 4-for-9 in the last six minutes of that East Carolina game, and it sent the game into overtime and cost us one.”
Free throws have been a sore spot for the Cardinals all season; they rank 10th in the Mid-American Conference with a 65.3 percent free throw percentage.
So far, it's only been the difference in one game, and Ball State leads the MAC by making 47 percent of its shots from the field.
Ball State also leads the conference with 18.2 assists per game, and sophomore point guard Carmen Grande is on top of the individual leaderboard with 8.2 assists per game.
“We had those threats last year, but this year we move the ball," Grande said. "Like, if Renee doesn’t get it, we have Mo shooting or we have Jill shooting. I think everyone’s stepping up to that.”
Morrison, however, was injured during the first game of the Savannah Invitational, a 54-40 loss to Auburn (6-1). She sat out the win against North Carolina A&T (1-6) and the loss to East Carolina.
"It's just day-to-day," Sallee said. "I think she's still a ways away from being able to play. I think we're seeing progress, and with something like that, that's all you can hope for."
Ball State also has a plus-5.6 average rebounding margin, but was out-rebounded 38-34 in its loss to Auburn.
"I don't want us to rely on just being bigger and longer and more athletic all the time," Sallee said. "I want us to have to really work to do it, because against the bigger, stronger, tougher teams, that's what you're going to have to do to rebound it."
Ball State and Chicago State are set to tip off at 7 p.m. Dec. 1 in Worthen Arena.