Ball State guard Maliah Howard-Bass sinks a pull up jump shot over Kent State guard Megan Carter in John E. Worthen Arena to keep their lead in the first half of the game Jan. 23, 2019. The women’s basketball game was close up until the last few minutes when Ball State took a lead to win 48-44. Eric Pritchett,DN
Eastern Michigan snaps losing streak, Ball State extends theirs
Both teams entered Saturday’s game looking to snap a five-game losing streak. While Ball State (7-17, 2-10 MAC) and Eastern Michigan (11-12, 4-8 MAC) each had a lot on the line, the Eagles ultimately came away with a win, and the Cardinals tacked on another loss.
“We played hard, and we competed,” head coach Brady Sallee said. “I thought we had fun doing it, too. It just came down to our turnovers in the end.”
The score favored the Eagles through most of the first half, and the Cardinals had a few missed opportunities to capitalize on. Although the Eagles won the rebounding game in the first two quarters, they racked up 11 turnovers, coming from six of their players. However, shooting 25 percent from the field kept the Cardinals from regaining the lead.
While the Cardinals managed to get out to an early 6-0 lead, it didn’t take long for the Eagles to wake up. They would proceed to go on a 10-0 run until sophomore guard Maliah Howard-Bass stepped in with her second 3-pointer of the game. Eastern Michigan’s Corrione Cardwell controlled the tempo throughout most of the first quarter, posting eight of the team’s 18 points by the end of the first ten minutes.
“We really had to adjust the stuff we do on defense due to their athleticism, but I thought we handled it well,” Sallee said. “We gave ourselves a chance to win with defense, but they took it to us at the end.”
Junior guard Jasmin Samz was held quiet in the second quarter after recording five points in the first. Frequent Cardinal leader sophomore forward Oshlynn Brown was held to just one point in the first half.
It looked as though the game would be tied at the half, but freshman forwardThelma Dis Agustsdóttir fouled Natalia Pineda at the buzzer, Pineda went to the charity stripe and hit one of two, pushing the Eagles ahead 23-22 heading into halftime.
Things began to look up for the Cardinals in the third quarter as Howard-Bass pushed her point total to 17. The Cardinals also managed to go 7 for 11 from the free-throw line and won the rebounding game, 10-7. Another Eagle run, this one 9-0, saw the Cardinals struggle to get a stop. The quarter ended with an even score of 38-38.
The Eagles’ Danielle Minott hadn’t made a shot all game until the Cardinals held a one-point lead toward the end of the fourth quarter. Minott was 0 for 9 to that point. She made her first shot behind the arc despite being heavily contested by senior guard Nakeya Penny, giving the Eagles a 55-53 advantage.
Things continued to spiral downward for the Cardinals. A fumbled inbound pass with 23 seconds left gave the Eagles the basketball again, and a foul sent Cardwell to the free-throw line.
Cardwell made 1 of 2, giving the Cardinals a chance to tie things up with a three. Brown tried to make a cross-court pass to Howard-Bass, but it sailed out of bounds, granting the Eagles the victory.
“We turned the ball over too much,” Sallee said. “They made a couple of plays getting loose balls and rebounds, and that’s what it came down to.”
Howard-Bass notched a career-high 20 points, and Agustsdóttir grabbed a personal best in rebounds with 12.