Ball State Forward Oshlynn Brown prepares to shot a free throw in the first half of their game against Ohio University Jan. 12, in John E. Worthen Arena. The two teams had a double heard with men’s and women’s basketball with Ohio winning both games. Eric Pritchett,DN
From individual to team improvement, Ball State Women’s Basketball has a bright future
Despite a record with just eight wins and a roster featuring six freshmen, Ball State Women's Basketball saw immense growth throughout the 2018-2019 season. From the initial game of the season against Purdue to the final minutes against the Toledo Rockets on Monday in the Mid-American Conference Tournament, the Cardinals never relinquished their fight.
While injuries played a part in the Cardinals' season (star freshman Anna Clephane went down after just nine games), the team saw fellow freshman Thelma Dis Agustsdottir shine to score nearly nine points per game. Agustsdottir also garnered a spot on the MAC All-Freshman team.
Freshman Gabby Smith was tabbed by Head Coach Brady Sallee as “one of the offensive stars of the future of this program” after posting multiple games with ten or more points in her first year.
The freshmen were not the only talk of the season, as sophomore Oshlynn Brown continued to make her presence known inside the MAC. The Chillicothe, Ohio native posted 13 points per game and nine rebounds per game on her way to earning All-MAC Honorable Mention.
The return of redshirt junior Jasmin Samz helped bring experience to the young team. The guard hit her career-high of 26 points against the top team in the MAC, Central Michigan, and led the team in assists with a total of 93.
One of the biggest individual developments on the Cardinal season came from sophomore Maliah Howard-Bass. Starting the season coming off the bench, Howard-Bass was converted to a starter after nine games. Averaging just under five points during her freshman season, the guard posted an even 10 points per game and led the team in threes, tallying 52.
Of the 15 conference losses, the Cardinals kept seven games within 10 points, including Toledo three separate times. This was also a Cardinals team that led the MAC’s best team Central Michigan 34-33 at halftime on the road February 6.
In the second to last conference game of the season, the Cardinals knocked off senior Mikayla Voigt and the Northern Illinois Huskies by three on senior night in DeKalb.
With an extremely young team and at least three newcomers entering the fold for next season, the Cardinals have positioned themselves to make a major improvement in the win column during the 2019-2020 season.