Ball State outshoots women’s basketball to knock BG out of conference tournament

Tara Jones and Tara Jones

A near 50 percent effort from both the field and from behind the arc allowed Ball State to defeat the Falcons in the Mid-American Conference Tournament semifinals on Friday, March 14. BG now awaits their post-season fate until Monday.

With the 73-55 loss in Cleveland to the fifth-seeded Cardinals, the Falcons finish their regular season with an overall record of 27-4.

BG head coach Jennifer Roos said they simply just could not get shots to fall all afternoon.

“When you shoot 33 percent you’re not going to win a lot of games, but when you give up 50 percent in field goal percentage for the other team, it’s a tough combination,” Roos said. “But with that said, I’m extremely proud of our team today. They played very hard. I told them in the locker room a few things, that one, they needed to walk out with their head held still high, one game does not define a season.”

Senior Jillian Halfhill said Ball State’s 46 percent from the three was incredible and that making three pointers became contagious for the Cardinals.

“They’ve been on this court since Wednesday, they know the feel of the court, they know everything, and they just weren’t missing tonight,” Halfhill said. “It seemed at one point that literally they were chucking up shots and they were going in.”

Ball State went on the face third-seeded Akron, who defeated Central Michigan in the semifinal round 85-69, for the MAC championship. Akron defeated the Cardinals 79-68 to clinch the title.

Although the Falcons did not capture the MAC tournament championship, their resume guarantees them at least a bid for the WNIT, but the Falcons are also on the bubble to be selected for a bid in the NCAA tournament.

The most recent ESPNW bracket prediction as of Sunday has BG listed as the fourth team in the first four out, meaning that it is predicted they will fall short of claiming a bid. The NCAA selection committee will make its selections Monday night, so the Falcons’ fate will be determined then. The WNIT selections will be made following the NCAA announcements.

Roos said she believes her team has presented a body of work that should put them into the NCAA tournament, but that they will look forward to playing in the WNIT if that falls through.

“I wouldn’t trade anybody on this team,” Roos said. “I told them I loved them in the locker room, but bottom line is we got beat today.”

Halfhill said it is frustrating having their post season in someone else’s hands, but she feels the team really deserve a bid.

Redshirt sophomore Erica Donovan reminded her senior teammates of one thing: it’s not over yet.

“With this actually being my first year playing for them, I can honestly say that I will miss [the seniors],” Donovan said. “I can tell them that it is not over for Lex, Jillian, Stein, even Katrina on the bench cheering for us, it’s not over. As Roos said, we still have post season: the NCAA, which is big, and we also have the NIT.”