Ball State women's basketball's '6 starters' bring them to 2nd in MAC West
Sophomore guard Frannie Frazier has not started in a women's basketball game this season, but head coach Brady Sallee doesn't see her as a bench player.
"Really, we have six starters on offense," Sallee said.
Frazier was one of five Cardinals who scored in double digits during Ball State's 78-71 victory over Akron on Feb. 3. She also finished playing 20 minutes, the same as junior center and starter Renee Bennett.
The Cardinals were able to escape with a 78-71 win over the Zips, and Sallee was convinced Frazier made the difference.
"I thought probably, honestly, the difference in the game was [Frazier]," Sallee said.
Senior guard Nathalie Fontaine is averaging 21 points per game, and junior guard Jill Morrison is a constant threat from the outside — hitting 59 three-pointers this season.
Even with their combined 33-points against Akron, Sallee credited Frazier's 5-9 performance, 10 points, six rebounds and steal to the team's victory.
Frazier was not the only bench performer who took Sallee's notice, sophomore guard Brionna Simond was able to make an impact in her nine minutes of work.
“I thought Simmond played great minutes," Sallee said."She took a charge and took it to the rim one time and layed it up and that was just what we needed at that moment.”
Bench players can serve different roles for different coaches. For some coaches, bench players give the starters a rest, while others only ever play them when the game is already secured.
Sallee uses a different approach.
He situationally uses his players to bring back the spark needed to get his team back in the game.
“Even more important than putting up points... is just the energy,” Sallee said.
Despite not starting a single game all year, Frazier has come off the bench and averaged 13.2 minutes per game and will continue to act as a spark-plug for the Cardinals.