Lady Zips play with determination but fall to Ball State

“By Brian Matzye sports@buchtelite.com After watching the men’s team dismantle arch-rival Kent State, the University of Akron women’s basketball team knew they had a tough act to follow as they hosted the Ball State Cardinals in the second game of a double-header this Saturday at The James A.”

By Brian Matzye

sports@buchtelite.com

After watching the men’s team dismantle arch-rival Kent State, the University of Akron women’s basketball team knew they had a tough act to follow as they hosted the Ball State Cardinals in the second game of a double-header this Saturday at The James A. Rhodes Arena.

Unfortunately, this game would be almost as memorable as the men’s game for all the wrong reasons.

The lady Zips, coming off an upset victory of their own over Kent State, jumped out to an early lead as they would hit six of their first 11 shots while, going on a 16-5 run to take a 10 point lead.

The Zips, who shot an impressive 50 percent throughout the first half had 12 points at halftime.

However, that lead would be squandered and the game turned into a tale of two halves as Ball State would slowly creep back into the contest, eventually taking the lead on a Kylie Jarrett jumper with 6:59 to give the Cardinals a 50-49 advantage.

The two teams battled back and forth will Ball State seeming to have an answer for every Akron score.

Zips Center Kyle Baumgartner was able to grab an offensive board and lay it back in with 3:05 to go to put the Zips within two, but her lay-up would be the last points Akron would score.

A pair of Jarrett free throws sealed the deal for Ball State as they would return to Muncie, Indiana with a 61-55 victory.

We really thought we had control of the game, Akron head coach Kest said. But we made too many bad decisions with the basketball.

Despite the loss, there were some impressive individual as well as team performances.

Baumgartner continued to make her case for Mid-American Conference Freshman of the Year as she totaled a career-high 16 points on eight of thirteen from the floor.

Junior Victoria Arndt also had an impressive showing as she posted ten points and five rebounds in only seventeen minutes off the bench.

The Zips as a team hit seven three-pointers throughout the contest, almost matching their season-high of nine.

Akron also won the overall rebounding battle, beating the Cardinals 33-32, for the third game in a row.

We played hard, Kest said after the game. But we didn’t play smart in the end.

However, the impressive performances weren’t enough to carry the Zips to their third MAC victory.

In the end, Ball State made plays and we made too many mistakes, Kest said.

With the loss, Akron drops to 7-12 overall, with a 2-4 MAC record. The two conference victories and seven wins overall match the 20007-08’s entire season totals.

The game against Ball State kicked off Akron’s Western portion of Mid-American Conference opponents.

The Zips will end their 3-game home stand as they host Toledo next Saturday in another double-header with the men’s team, and will then travel to Dekalb to take on the Northern Illinois Huskies.

MAC East play will not resume until Feb. 21, when the Zips welcome the Bowling Green Falcons to the James A. Rhodes Arena.

Call sportswriter Brian Matzye at:

330-972-7395.

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