WOMEN'S BASKETBALL: Cards take perfect MAC record on the road at Central Michigan

Maggert looks to become 21st member of 1,000-point club

After pulling out a last-second win on the road over the weekend, Ball State University coach Kelly Packard improved her record to 19-2 over Mid-American Conference foes.

More importantly, the Cardinals (7-7, 2-0 MAC) survived the beginning stretch of conference play.

Ball State takes to the road for their second-straight time in MAC contests when it faces Central Michigan University (3-11, 0-2 MAC). The Chippewas enter the matchup struggling on the defensive end of the floor, ranking last in the MAC in defense. Central Michigan gives up an average of 76.9 points a game.

Ball State ranks second in field goal percentage and will look to take advantage of Central Michigan's defensive struggles. The Cardinals' attack is led by junior forward Emily Maggert, who has recorded eight double-doubles and averages 18 points and 11.2 rebounds per game.

Maggert needs just four points to become the 21st player in Ball State history to record 1,000 career points. She will likely become the second Cardinal to reach the mark this year, joining guard Audrey McDonald. Julie DeMuth and Kelsey Corbin are the last pair of teammates to score their 1,000th point in the same season, which they did in 2006-07.

Seniors Danielle Gratton and McDonald also average more than 10 points. McDonald registers 11.2 points a game, while Gratton tallies 10.4 to fuel the Cardinals' attack.

Central Michigan is led by forward Kaihla Szunko, who averages 11 points and nine rebounds per game. The junior ranks fifth in the conference in rebounding and in field goal percentage. She is also third in steals with 2.6 per game. Szunko is coming off a career-high 27 points and 14 rebounds in a loss at the University of Toledo Saturday.

The Chippewas have two other players that average double-digits. Guard Shonda Long scores a team-high 13.6 points per game and forward Britni Houghton, who averages 13.4 points. Senior Houghton ranks 13th in the MAC in scoring and 12th in assists with 2.9 per game.

Away from Muncie, Ball State struggled in the nonconference portion of their schedule. The Cardinals are 3-5 on the road, while they are 4-2 in Worthen Arena.

The Chippewas have played their best on their home court. They are 2-2 in the Rose Center, including an upset of the University of Louisville. Central Michigan is on a two-game winning streak at home, but has not played in Mount Pleasant since Dec. 19.

Despite its struggles on the road, history is on Ball State's side. The Cardinals have won 17 of the last 18 contests against the Chippewas with their lone loss coming Feb. 22, 2006 in Mount Pleasant.


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