WOMEN'S BASKETBALL: Ball State to play first place Kent State

Cardinals look to hand Golden Flashes first conference loss

Following a disheartening 73-62 loss on the road to Northern Illinois Wednesday, Ball State (7-11, 2-3 MAC) looks to bounce back today when it hosts Mid-American Conference leading Kent State in Worthen Arena at 1 p.m.

The foul taste of failure still lingers with the Cardinals, but with only two days to prepare for their next game, there's no time to sulk.

"Time doesn't allow you to stay in a place where you're disappointed," coach Kelly Packard said. "You've got to be able to say, ‘hey, here's the key things that contributed to the loss,' and review those. You digest the errors and points of emphasis, then you've got to be able to turn your mind to that next opponent."

Kent State (14-3) enters tonight's contest supporting a perfect (5-0) record in MAC play. An aggressive, hard-nosed battle can be expected from the Golden Flashes.

"They're the most physical team I've seen in the MAC," Packard said. "Kent State is able to [pressure] you [from] places where you like to reverse the ball. They're not going to allow that ball reversal."

Preparation is key in order to get a feel for the physical presence Kent State will bring. During her team's preparation practices, Packard called upon the male practice squad to simulate the physical play.

It was a rough outing for senior forward Emily Maggert against Northern Illinois. She converted just two of her 12 field goal attempts and was often seen shying away from physical play.

Packard will rely on Maggert to stand her ground in the post this time around.

"We've got to have her presence in the paint and her willingness to be able to keep her balance if she's mauled on the post positioning she's trying to get," Packard said.

It's a fight between Maggert and her technique. Nonetheless, the preseason All-MAC selection should be ready to grind one out.

"It's a battle of footwork with her right now," Packard said. "Expect the physical play and respond to it."