WOMEN'S BASKETBALL: Ball State looks to slow down Bowling Green

Cardinals have lost five straight heading into game against MACGÇÖs best team

In the midst of the toughest season of her coaching career, Kelly Packard has seen her team plummet from the top of the Mid-American Conference West Division lead to fourth place and four games behind first-place University of Toledo.

Things don't get any easier for Packard or the Ball State University women's basketball team (9-13, 3-6 MAC), who play host to Bowling Green State University (18-5, 8-1 MAC) this afternoon at Worthen Arena.

"At this point we're dealing with confidence that has been shaken quite a bit," Packard said. "I see that in our tone in a tie game or when we trail. We become afraid to shoot and timid in making entry passes to the post."

Having lost five straight, the Cardinals are looking to right the ship and pick up a victory, something they haven't done since they beat Toledo at home three weeks ago.

"Addressing the confidence issue will be key to turning the corner. We're talking about where we go from here," Packard said. "Technical things on the court like demeanor will have to be addressed."

In order to contend with Bowling Green, one of the best teams in the MAC, Ball State will have to turn recent weaknesses into strengths.

The current five-game losing streak has seen the Cardinals get out-rebounded and they have struggled defensively, particularly in closing out the first half and the end of the game.

"I'm not a highly emotional person," Packard said. "That's probably a good thing right now. I'm not a screamer. I am part of it. I have to take responsibility we have lost five games straight. We're starting to do new things to continue equipping and nurture them."

Bowling Green leads the MAC in total offense, scoring 74 points a game while holding opponents to just more than 60 points a game. The Falcons also lead the MAC in free throw percentage and field goal percentage.

For Ball State, Emily Maggert and Audrey McDonald remain the keys on offense. Maggert leads the team in scoring and rebounding, averaging a double-double on the season. She is also nationally ranked in double-doubles. Meanwhile, McDonald posts 11 points per game and has recorded a 3-pointer in 10 straight games and 21 of 22 games this season.


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