Despite a career night for junior guard Jasmin Samz, her performance wasn’t enough to push Ball State Women's Basketball (7-20, 3-12 MAC) past the top seed in the Mid-American West, as the Central Michigan Chippewas (21-6, 12-3 MAC) won their fifth consecutive. Here are a few takeaways from Wednesday’s MAC west matchup at Worthen Arena.

Tale of Two Halves 

The Chippewas came out aggressive in the first half, controlling much of the half with a lead for 13:56 of the 20 minutes. Cardinals were unable to put out the fires Central Michigan was firing up with 21 of their 45 points coming from beyond the arc. 

Ball State trailed 30-45 at halftime. The Cardinals would come with more fight in the second half. An aggressive drive from freshman Abi Haynes put her at the line towards the latter part of the 3rd period, knocking down two free throws cutting the score to 48-55. Samz would get the bucket and the foul with :52 seconds remaining to cut the Chippewas lead to four. Closely contested second half saw Central Michigan with just a 36-34 advantage.

“This was a tough Central Michigan team and I’m just proud of how hard we fought in this one as a team,” head coach Brady Sallee said. 

Samz drops career high 26

Despite Central Michigan showing why they’re the top of the MAC west, Samz came out with an aggression in this game scoring 11 in the first half and then 15 of her 26 in the second half. 

Samz was matching shot for shot with the Chippewas’ senior Reyna Frost who put up 26 on 11 of 19 shooting, knocking down two treys and a couple of free throws. Samz shot the best percentage of any player Wednesday night, going 75 percent from the field, hitting 5-6 threes, while putting pressure on the defense getting to the line on multiple occasions. This is completely different from their game at Central Michigan, when Samz went just 2 of 5, scoring 4 points one of her season lows. 

“This team is so talented and we are team that will not back down from a challenge,” Samz said. “We’re a team that will keep fighting throughout each game no matter the situation. 

Turnovers and Foul line trouble

While both teams had around the same amount (Cardinals 15, Chippewas 14), Central Michigan was able to take advantage of Ball State’s mishaps scoring 23 points off turnovers compared to just nine points from the Cardinals. This really put Ball State in a hole in the second period being outscored 26-9. The team continued to show aggression though forcing fouls and getting chances at the line. Samz and sophomore forward Oshlynn Brown lead the charge with a combined 12 free throw opportunities. But the Cardinals were only able to knock down half of their foul shots going 10 for 20.

Frost, Hudson, Kelly Trio

Frost, Presley Hudson, and Micaela Kelly are 1, 2, and 3 in points per game for the Chippewas and that presented itself at Worthen which caused waves of problems for the Cardinals. 

Frost has been a double double machine this year posting 21 and 13 per night. Frost is second in rebounds per game in the nation only behind California’s Kristine Anigwe. Frost by far was the biggest factor in Central Michigan’s rebound edge gathering 15 of their 38 total. 

Hudson scored 18 points, but struggled from the floor going 5-18 and just 20 percent from three. Kelly hurt the Cardinals from deep scoring 12 of her 16 points from the perimeter.

“Yes, it has been a tough season, but it doesn’t define who we are as a team,” Sallee said. “Each and every game we find ways to get better and will try to improve off of this one against Western Michigan on Saturday.” 

Contact Dorian Ducre with any comments at or on Twitter @DucreDorian