Ball State forward Moriah Monaco shoots a layup during the game against Eastern Michigan on Jan. 18 in Worthen Arena. Monaco scored 16 points in the game, had two blocks and two steals and was 4-5 from 3-point range. Grace Ramey // DN
RECAP: Ball State women's basketball vs. Eastern Michigan
Ball State women’s basketball experienced a role reversal in the fourth quarter against Eastern Michigan.
Junior guard Frannie Frazier jacked up a three-pointer with 6:09 left in the game, and on the bench, starters Renee Bennett, Carmen Grande, Moriah Monaco and Jill Morrison jumped out of their seats screaming. They were celebrating Frazier’s second three-pointer of the season from the bench because the game was already out of hand — the shot put the Cardinals (12-6, 5-1 MAC) up 77-41 over Eastern Michigan (5-13, 0-5 MAC) in their eventual 78-49 win.
“I don’t know, it’s just every time I’m on the bench, even if I’m not a lot of time there, I’m cheering up, I stand up for everything we do,” Grande said. “It’s pretty exciting, I love it.”
Ball State shooting: 28-65 (43.1 percent)
Eastern Michigan shooting: 17-58 (29.3 percent)
Ball State assists: 24
Eastern Michigan assists: 5
Ball State turnovers: 14
Eastern Michigan turnovers: 20
It didn’t take long for the game to get out of hand, either. Ball State opened the first quarter with a 21-4 run, and led by as much as 44 late in the third quarter.
Bennett led the Cardinals with 19 points and spearheaded the post attack — Ball State outscored Eastern Michigan 38-18 in the paint. But the Eagles were forced to respect the outside shot as well, as Monaco (16 points) and Morrison (17 points) were a combined 7-9 on their three-point attempts.
“I don’t know how you stop that kind of offense,” Monaco said.
Ball movement usually plays a major role in the Cardinals’ offense — they lead the Mid-American Conference with 18.1 assists per game — and it did again against the Eagles. Ball State racked up 24 assists with just 14 turnovers.
Normally Grande leads the way with a MAC-leading 7.9 assists per game, but she only played 16 minutes because of early foul trouble and the big lead. Instead, nine different players recorded an assist, with five each from Morrison and senior guard Calyn Hosea, the last starter on the floor who was pulled with 4:05 left.
“I had foul trouble, and then whoever was next up picked me up,” Grande said. “I thought we played really well without me.”
Ball State’s defense held Eastern Michigan to 29.3 percent shooting, with a 15.0 percent rate from three-point range. On top of her 16 points, Monaco blocked two shots with two steals and also hauled in six defensive rebounds.
The Cardinals next game is at noon Jan. 21 at Bowling Green State University.