Another game involving Ball State Women's Basketball (8-23, 3-15 MAC) and Toledo (20-10, 12-7 MAC) came down to the wire and the Rockets were able to sneak away with the victory for the third time this season against the Cardinals, 67-63. Here are four takeaways from Ball State’s final game of the season. 

Slow start

The first quarter didn’t treat the Cardinals well and it came back to haunt them at the end. Ball State couldn’t get much going on the offensive end to start the game just shooting 4-14 from the field and only racked up eight first quarter points. 

On the other hand, Toledo was able to gain some momentum in front of their home crowd and lit up scoreboard with 21 points in the first frame on 8-13 shooting. 

Toledo's dominate first quarter ended up being the deciding factor when it was all said and done. 

One quarter shy of a complete game

Despite the Cardinals struggles early, Ball State responded in the remainder of the game. The Cardinals cleaned up their play and were able to outscore the Rockets in the final three quarters by nine points. 

Ball State eventually even cut the Toledo 14-point lead to just two points with just 1:14 left to play in the contest, however, Toledo was able to come up with some clutch time defensive stops and key buckets to answer right back to the Cardinals runs and the Rockets never gave up their lead. 

McIntyre efficient play 

Toledo’s senior forward Kaayla McIntyre caused problems for Ball State throughout and the Cardinals really didn’t have an answer for her. 

As Ball State started to put runs together McIntyre was able to come up with key buckets that kept the Rockets with the lead. Her consistent play was shown all-night as she only missed one of her seven shots attempted from the field and was money from the line making 7-10. 

McIntyre finished the contest scoring a game-high 19 points and also had a solid impact on the glass securing 7 rebounds. 

Consistent progression 

Although the season might not have ended the way the Cardinals would have liked, there was an upside to their down year. Different players continue to step up and show growth through the adversity. 

Sophomore guard Maliah Howard-Bass ended the game Monday night leading the Cardinals in scoring with 12 points. This was her third straight game in double-digit scoring and also her third straight game as the team-high scorer for Ball State. 

The young Cardinals team continued to look as if they got better, while the year went on and this could be a positive sign for the season to come  

Contact Daric Clemens with any comments at diclemens@bsu.edu or on Twitter @DaricClemens