The expectations for No. 12 seeded Ball State heading into the first round of the Mid-American Conference Tournament weren’t high, and Central Michigan erased any chance Ball State had of advancing to Cleveland by routing the visitors 86-60 Saturday afternoon.
The Cardinals trailed the Chippewas the entire game. The offense was poor, shooting just 32.8 percent from the field. The defense was pitiful, surrendering 64 points in the paint. The Cardinals turned the ball over 28 times, allowing the Chippewas to score 22 points. The Chippewas converted 40 percent of their 90 total field goal attempts on the afternoon.
The Cardinals came within one point of the Chippewas midway through the first half, but the visitors couldn’t keep pace and were drastically overpowered by their opponent.
Despite the loss, senior co-captain forward Suzanne Grossnickle turned in a career-performance for the Cardinals. Grossnickle recorded her fifth double-double of the season, scoring a career-high 25 points and coming down with 14 boards.
The offseason begins Monday, and the Cardinals’ program is in limbo. The future of coach Kelly Packard remains unclear. Athletics director Tom Collins will meet with Packard in Muncie next week, marking the beginning of the evaluation process.