MUNCIE, Ind. – In an early-January game that had a March-like atmosphere, host Ball State University came out on top, 81-73, against the Bowling Green State University women’s basketball team Wednesday night.
The game, the Mid-American Conference opener for both teams, was held at Worthen Arena.
Allison Day and Nyla Hampton each had 18 points for the Falcons (11-2 overall), who saw a nine-game winning streak come to an end.
Day had a double-double with 12 rebounds, and also added three steals and two blocked shots, while Hampton had a game-high five assists and a pair of steals. Morgan Sharps scored 16 points for BGSU, hitting a game-high four three-pointers.
The Cardinals (11-3) were led by Anna Clephane’s 22 points, while Alex Richard added 14 points and Ally Becki had 13 points and 11 rebounds.
In a battle between the teams picked to finish second (Ball State) and third (BGSU) in the MAC’s preseason coaches poll, the teams traded runs for much of the evening.
The Falcons surged out to an early 12-6 lead, but the Cardinals battled back to take a one-point lead after the opening quarter.
A 6-0 run midway through the second quarter gave the Falcons the lead once again, but the hosts answered with 11-straight points.
Trailing by 11 points at the half, BGSU surged to within three points midway through the third period, but the Cards again had an answer. BSU extended the lead to a game-high 14 points with under seven minutes to go.
The Falcons battled back once again, getting to within four points, 74-70, on a Day layup with 2:20 remaining, but Clephane answered with a layup, and BG could get no closer than five points the rest of the way
The Falcons return home for the next two games, beginning with a Saturday matchup vs. Eastern Michigan. Tipoff is set for 1 p.m. on Faith and Family Day at the Stroh Center.
Then, BGSU will entertain Central Michigan next Wednesday, Jan. 11 in a 7 p.m. start at the Stroh. Both EMU and CMU were victorious in their respective MAC-opening games on Wednesday night.