Seniors to say goodbye to arena against Central Michigan

Cardinals face MAC's best rebounder in Chips' Vershaun Jones.

One last game is all seniors Shala Crook, Amy Fuller and Susie Meshberger have left to play in Worthen Arena.

In the last home game of the season, the Cardinals play host to Central Michigan in an attempt to complete one of the team's ultimate goals - go undefeated at home.

"We've got to protect our home court," Fuller said. "It's not that we're approaching this game any differently, but we've just got to do what needs to be done to win."

The Chippewas (10-15 overall, 2-12 Mid-American Conference) have lost 11 of their last 12 games and have no hope of making the conference tournament. But head coach Tracy Roller said Central's record is not a standard of how good the Chips are.

"It has to do with the quality of the teams in the MAC," Roller said. "Besides Kent (State), all the top teams are in the West (Division). When you're Central, you're playing against the best every game."

Despite Central's struggles this season, the team brings the leading rebounder in the league, Vershaun Jones, who averages just over 10 rebounds per game. The Cardinals have had troubles with keeping opponents from getting rebounds. The team allowed 29 offensive rebounds, and 54 total, against Northern Illinois in its last game.

Despite Ball State's troubles, Fuller said the team has to do what it has done all season, "just box out and play hard."

While Desiree Eidison leads the Chips in scoring, averaging 14.2 per game, Roller said it will be hard for the Cardinals to focus on one player, as Central has a balanced offensive attack.

"(Central) has scorers in every position, if they get hot," Roller said. "This time of year, everybody could have a great game."

Ball State is in a position in which it controls its own destiny. If the team wins the remainder of its games, it will clinch the MAC West title, and a bye into the MAC Tournament.

"We're in a kind of twilight area," Roller said. "We've never been here before. When we achieve these goals - 19 wins, 20 wins, beating Northern - we should be happy, but not satisfied."

If the Cardinals defeat the Chips Saturday, it will mark the 20th win of the season for the Cardinals, bringing two landmarks. The first is a new school record for wins, and the second is an unwritten rule for NCAA and NIT selection committee for teams to qualify for postseason tournaments.

"Definitely winning from now on is important," Roller said. "But I just want to win games, and whatever comes with winning games comes."


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