Written By: Noah Reed | @NoahReed_24
Play-by-Play Voice of Ball State Women’s Basketball on Sports Link Radio
Member of Ball State Sports Link
Tonight is a clash of the two best teams in the MAC West tonight at Worthen Arena. Coming off a come from behind victory at Buffalo on Saturday, the Ball State Cardinals (16-5, 8-2 MAC) are set to host the Central Michigan Chippewas (15-7, 9-2 MAC).
Saturday’s win at Buffalo was the furthest thing from cakewalk for the Cardinals. The Bulls led by as many as 14 late in the third quarter before a furious fourth quarter rally put the Cardinals on the winning side of a 59-57 tilt.
Nathalie Fontaine just missed what would have been her fifth double-double in the last 7 games. The senior forward led the way with 18 points and nine rebounds for the Cardinals.
Storylines for Wednesday night:
Central Michigan’s “Diaper Dandies”
Two of Central Michigan’s four leading scorers are in the first year of college basketball. The newcomers, Presley Hudson and Reyna Frost, average 15.0 and 8.6 points per game, respectively.
Hudson’s 15 per night leads the Chippewas and is ranked 9th in the Mid American Conference. No other freshman in the MAC is ranked in the top 20 in scoring. She has scored in double figures in seven consecutive games, including a season high 32 points against Akron.
As well as getting it done scoring the basketball, Frost is also averaging 9.5 rebounds per contest. That is good enough to have her as the fourth best rebounder in the league. Frost has already notched four double-doubles this season and is currently playing her best ball of the season. Over the last five games, Frost has boosted her numbers to 12.2 points per game including three double figure-scoring efforts.
Not only are the two best teams in the MAC West squaring off tonight, but it’s also a matchup of the two best rebounding teams in the conference. Both teams hold a rebounding margin of +7.5, which are far and away the tops in the MAC.
Central Michigan has either tied or outrebounded its opponents in 18 of its 22 contests this season, including snagging 61 rebounds in a game earlier this year against Northern Illinois. The Chippewas average 44.8 boards per game. Not only is that the best in the MAC but also ranks eighth in the NCAA.
Ball State wins the rebounding margin in a much different way. The Cardinals average about 41 rebounds, but they only give up 33.4 rebounds per game to their opponent, which is two fewer rebounds than any other MAC team.
The winner of the rebounding margin tonight could very well be the difference in who walks away from Worthen Arena with the win.
Tonight’s game can be seen nationally on ESPN3 or heard on the radio on one of two stations. Fox Sports Muncie (102.9 FM / 1340 AM) will carry the game with Tyler Bradfield and Mark Foerster. Sports Link Radio (91.3 FM) will also broadcast the game with Cory Stace and myself bringing you the action.