WOMEN'S BASKETBALL: Freshman blooming at right time for Packard, Cards

Shanee' Jackson scored career-high 10 points in MAC Tourney win vs. WMU

In Ball State University's 67-43 Mid-American Conference Tournament first-round win against Western Michigan University on Saturday, freshman guard Shanee' Jackson tied her career high in points for the second consecutive game.

Jackson, averaging 2.8 points per game this season, scored 10 points as well as grabbing three rebounds and four steals for Ball State, and coach Kelly Packard said she is playing well at the right time.

"She's a lot more comfortable and knows her role in her sets," Packard said. "She has improved and is executing well, and what a time to do it at."

Packard said she believes Jackson's improved play has given both she and Jackson confidence on the floor.

Jackson said the reason for her improved play stems from a plea from Packard for another rebounder other than junior forward Emily Maggert.

"[Maggert] has been leading us in rebounding and I wanted to step up and rebound to contribute," Jackson said. "It's exciting because this is my first [MAC] Tournament and it's helping my confidence."

With Ball State advancing to Wedneday's second-round game against the University of Toledo, the Cardinals have proven that they should benefit if Jackson can have a career day for the third consecutive game.