Women fall to Ball State, 90-85

Despite a valiant effort, the women’s basketball team came up a little bit short last night.

The Falcons took the second place Ball State Cardinals down to the wire, posting their second highest point total of the season.

However, 85 points was not enough as the Falcons dropped their third straight game, 90-85, in front of 703 fans in Anderson Arena.

“What a great game, I wish there was more than 700 people here to see it because that was as good an offensive game that you can watch in women’s college basketball,” Falcons head coach Curt Miller said.

The first meeting between these two teams this season resulted in a 25 point Ball State win. In the early stages of the first half it looked like the Cardinals would run away from the Falcons again. The Cardinals opened up a 27-12 lead with 10:45 remaining in the half. The Falcons, however, were not about to go away quietly on their homecourt. They buried five three-pointers in just over three minutes to close the gap to four at 39-35 with 4:07 remaining in the half. The Cardinals were able to quiet the rally and take a 48-40 lead into the lockerroom at halftime.

The Falcons continued to battle in the second half, but were never quite able to catch the Cardinals. They got within two points at 80-78 with 3:23 remaining, but clutch free throw shooting secured the Cardinal victory. The Cardinals converted all 14 of their attempts from the line in the final six minutes. Overall they shot 89.5 percent (17-19) from the charity stripe in the second half and 91.7 percent (22-24) for the game.

Despite the loss, Miller was happy with the character his team showed in battling with the Cardinals throughout the course of the game.

“Even though it’s not always resulting in wins right now, I think were proving that no one can walk into Anderson Arena and take us lightly,” Miller said.

Both teams had five players reach double digits in scoring. The Falcons were led by Francine Miller, who scored 23 points while going up against one of the top players in the Mid American Conference in Tamara Bowie. Cardinals head coach Tracy Roller enjoyed watching the Miller-Bowie matchup.

“I really think the matchup between Francine [Miller] and Bowie was fun to watch, and I think it was probably a draw,” Roller said.

“It was a great game by both players and it was really a hard fought game. I think Bowie got better today because of Francine [Miller] and I hope Francine [Miller] got better today because of Bowie.”

The Falcons (10-13, 3-9 MAC), currently hold the 11th seed in the MAC. Miller, who was looking to host the first round of the MAC Tournament, was not optimistic about his teams chances of doing so but knows his team can still climb the ladder and grab a higher seed.

“The dream of hosting the first round unfortunately is slipping away,” Miller said. “We can finish anywhere from ninth to 13th right now … every game is important toward seeding.”

Next up for the Falcons is a trip to Akron to battle the Zips on Saturday. Gametime is 3p.m.