After a tough two-game road trip Ball State Women's Basketball (7-14,2-7 MAC) will get a chance to get back on track at Worthen Arena Saturday against Northern Illinois (13-8, 5-4 MAC).
The Cardinals have continued to show progress throughout the season, but can’t seem to get over the hump that has been holding them back from winning more games.
Ball State has struggled with not being able to put together complete games. The Cardinals have found themselves in situations sometimes where they were right in it, until a cold streak hits them and things, at times, get away from them.
“We need to be able to play through some of the other team’s runs a little bit better, but we are getting there,” head coach Brady Sallee said.
Ball State is coming off of an 18-point loss to the top team in the MAC West, but the score doesn’t tell the entire story. The Cardinals held a lead at the end of the first half, then things started to go downhill.
“I think we need to improve on finishing in the third quarter," sophomore forward Oshlynn Brown said. "We have teams in the first half, and then we just can’t finish through in the third and fourth quarter.”
However, head coach Brady Sallee feels that there is more to it than the losses and likes the development that he is seeing from the team.
“You just keep your focus on how you are playing and not really the results,” Sallee said. “Every game I see the improvements individually and as a team on both ends of the ball.”
The Cardinals will have their hands full against the Huskies, who will come into the game with two straight wins. Northern Illinois is accustomed to putting up a lot of points in each contest as they average about 78 points as a team.
Senior guard Mikayla Voigt has been one of the key pieces to the Huskies' success on offense this season as she leads the team with 20.7 point per game.
“We are going to have to keep trying to take better care of the ball and we are going to have to do that against high-powered offensive team like Northern Illinois," Sallee said. "They can turn defense into offense as good as anyone in the league."
On the season, the Cardinals are allowing opponents to score about 70 points per game, so they will have to be tight to keep the fast-paced-scoring Huskies in check.
“Defensively, we are going to have to hold them at bay, we can’t let them get into the 80s.” Sallee said.
Ball State and Northern Illinois will tip off on Saturday in Muncie at 4:30 p.m.
Contact Daric Clemens with any comments at firstname.lastname@example.org or on Twitter @DClemens.