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
After a Ball State Women’s Basketball win on Saturday at Bowling Green, they have now won 10 of their last 12 games, including three straight. Head Coach Brady Sallee also wrapped up his 200th career victory with the 67-56 win last Saturday.
The Cardinals will welcome the Eastern Michigan Eagles into Worthen Arena Wednesday night for a matchup between two of the best teams in the Mid-American Conference.
Eastern Michigan is 12-4 overall with a 3-2 mark in the MAC. Ball State is also 12-4 overall with a 4-1 conference record.
Can Ball State continue to defend its home court?
It’s no secret how dominant the Cardinals are inside Worthen Arena.
Ball State is a perfect 8-0 at home in the 2015-2016 campaign with an average margin of victory of over 17 points per game.
This is first time in nine years where the Cardinals started 8-0 at home. They finished with a 10-1 mark at Worthen that year.
Since 2004, Ball State has won nearly 66% (107-55) of its games in Muncie. During Mid-American Conference play since Brady Sallee has arrived on campus almost four years ago, the Cardinals have 21-9 record.
Ball State’s defense must be able to handle Cha Sweeney.
Cha Sweeney, a junior out of Toledo, Ohio, has gone under the radar much of the season because of the play of Ball State’s Nathalie Fontaine thus far.
And rightfully so, because Fontaine is second in the MAC in scoring (21.1ppg) and is the league leader in rebounds (10.0rpg). But with that being said, Sweeney is putting together one of the best seasons of anyone in the league.
Even though Sweeney is only averaging 4.5 points per game in the last two contests, including her first scoreless game all season long Saturday against Kent State, she reached double figures in each of the first 14 games of the year. That includes six 20-point games and a season-high 31 points.
Sweeney is currently fourth in the conference at 18.1 points per outing.
The freshman point guard out of Madrid, Spain, Carmen Grande, has started every game since her arrival to campus at Ball State. She has provided something to this year’s team that lacked last year: a true point guard.
Grande leads all point guards in the MAC in assists at 5.5 per game. In non-conference play, the freshman point guard averaged just 4.5 points per game while shooting 31% from the field. In five conference games, Grande’s numbers have sky rocketed to 7.8 points per night and 41%.
Grande is playing her best ball of the season right when it matters most. We’ve closing in on the half way point of the conference schedule, where each and every game becomes increasingly more important as far as standings go heading into the conference tournament.
Not only that, but Grande will be matched up with arguably the best point guard in the conference on Wednesday night, in Cha Sweeney.
Tip off is set for 7pm ET on Wednesday night. You can catch the action on Sports Link radio (91.3 WCRD) with Cory Stace and Matt Organ on the call or Fox Sports Muncie (102.9 FM/1340 AM) with Tyler Bradfield and Mark Foerster. ESPN3 will also show the game.