BG women’s basketball team rebounds to win over Ball State

Reporter and Reporter

The BG women’s basketball team will look to have a stout defensive effort in order to stop the rising Ball State team Wednesday night.

BG recently lost its first conference game Sunday against Toledo. The loss came three days after running all over Kent State, 69-33 to start MAC play. It was an ugly loss for the Falcons in the sense that it was their second worst scoring output of the season next to a 42-53 defeat at the hands of Villanova Nov. 24.

Scoring, which is important in any sport, has been key for the Falcons when getting over the 60 mark. In fact, all of BG’s 10 wins have come when the team scores more than 60. They are also 0-5 when scoring fewer than 60, which happened Sunday against Toledo.

BG’s defense has been good so far in MAC play as it has given up just over 40.5 points per game. The team has hosted its first two MAC opponents to a shooting percentage of 28.7 percent.

Yet, the Falcons have struggled when their shooters fail to show up. Coach Roos stressed her frustrations after the Toledo game by saying she wished the ball could have went in more.

Part of the problem against Toledo was that the team shot with a success rate of 22.4 percent, making just 11 field goals in the game. Only two players in Jillian Halfhill and Chrissy Steffen scored their first points in the second half. Enter Ball State, the Cardinals are just 5-10 on the season but have shown promise with the start of MAC play. Ball State is 2-0 in the MAC with wins against East Division favorite Miami and Northern Illinois.

The Cardinals are led in a number of categories by a group of underclassmen, which could be a reason for the slow start to the season. That, in addition to the fact that like BG, they are also getting used to a new person holding the coaching reigns. Coach Brady Sallee is in his first year with Ball State, after spending eight seasons at Eastern Illinois.

Leading the way for Sallee is freshman guard Natalie Fontaine, who averages 13.3 points per game. Junior guard Brandy Wood also averages in double figures at 10.7 points per game.

Coach Sallee has a well rounded line-up that has gotten better as the season has progressed.

In fact, since mid-December, the team has been a lot more competitive. In their past two losses before the start of MAC play, Ball State lost those games by a margin of four points per game.

Increased competitiveness, in addition to winning two in a row in the conference may make for a good game on Wednesday night.

The game will be the last of BG’s five-game home stand. In that stretch, the Falcons are 2-2 and they are currently 6-3 at the Stroh.