WOMEN'S BASKETBALL: Cards unable to topple host Rockets

Halftime Ball State lead vanishes as team heads into Senior Night

For one half of basketball, the Ball State University women's basketball team made the University of Toledo look like a floor mat instead of the Mid-American Conference West Division Champions.

For that half, the Cardinals overcame the odds — poor shooting, playing on the road, committing 10 turnovers: it didn't matter. Ball State led Toledo 24-22 going into halftime.

The Cardinals were able to do so with help from the Rockets struggling from close range. Toledo missed several layups and could not find the touch from the free throw line, going 1-for-6 in the first half.

Ball State, meanwhile, cashed in on its opportunities, something rarely done in a season of little happiness, shooting 8-for-9 from the stripe and out-rebounded the Toledo 20-16. This combination, along with strong defense helped Ball State stay in front despite shooting 26 percent.

After pushing the lead to four out of the locker room, everything fell apart for Ball State.

Toledo's offense then clicked on all cylinders to pull away for a convincing 62-48 win.

Emily Maggert, not sporting the protective mask she wore earlier this week against Northern Illinois University, scored 15 points and grabbed 13 rebounds to lead Ball State. Ty'Ronda Benning posted 12 points while Audrey McDonald added 11 to join Maggert in double figures.

Melissa Goodall registered 13 points to lead the Rockets. Tanika Mays posted 11 points and Lecretia Smith added 10 for Toledo.

Ball State (12-16, 6-9 MAC) returns to action Tuesday night for senior night against Central Michigan University. Tipoff is scheduled for 7 p.m. at Worthen Arena. The Cardinals have clinched a home game in the first round of the MAC Tournament, but are fighting for the No.7 seed in the tournament.