The Eastern Michigan women’s basketball team defeated the Ball State Cardinals 67-57 on the road at Worthen Arena Saturday, March 10, during the final game of the regular season for both teams.
Jenna Annecchiarico led all scorers with 19 points and six assists. Danielle Minott scored 16 points and Courtnie Lewis finished with 10. For Ball State (8-22, 3-15), Maliah Howard-Bass led the team in scoring with 18 points. Thelma Dis Agustsdottir was second on the team with 12.
EMU (13-16, 6-12) struggled shooting the ball throughout the whole game and initially started during the first quarter. The Cardinals’ 2-3 zone defense is what kept EMU out of the scoring column for the most part. In the first quarter alone, the Cardinals defense allowed the Eagles to only put up two points.
EMU made 1 of 15 attempts from the floor. Meanwhile, Ball State’s offense shot 37 percent from the floor in the first quarter. The Cardinals headed to the second quarter leading 15-2.
“We just couldn’t buy a shot,” coach Fred Castro said.
However, in the second quarter, the Eagles’ offense improved. EMU outscored the Cardinals 15-11 in the second quarter as both teams shot over 30 percent from the floor. The Eagles’ 3-point struggles continued, though, as they shot only 22 percent from deep.
Overall, the Cardinals also did a better job at scoring inside during the first half. With its defense, Ball State kept Eastern out of the paint, allowing four points inside. The Cardinals scored 12 points in the paint in the first half.
Despite those numbers, EMU trailed by nine at halftime, 26-17.
The Eagles’ momentum continued into the second half. In the third quarter, EMU outscored the Cardinals, 23-17. The shooting numbers continued to rise for the Eagles. After shooting 20 percent in the first half, EMU shot 50 percent in the third quarter.
“All of the shots we couldn’t make in the first half, all started going down in the third and fourth quarter,” Castro said.
The Eagles ended the third quarter on a 13-4 run, being down by only three points headed into the final 10 minutes of the regular season. Momentum stayed on the Eagles’ side in the fourth quarter. Continuing to outscore the Cardinals, EMU shot over 50 percent from the floor in the quarter. Meanwhile, the Cardinals shot just under 20 percent.
Defensively, the Eagles forced a total of 18 turnovers and nine of those were steals. With good defense and better shooting percentages, the Eagles were able fight back and secure a 10-point victory. With the win, EMU has locked in the 9 seed in the MAC Tournament and will travel to play Akron (16-13, 7-11) on Monday, March 11.