Bowling Green, Ky. — Kiley Jarrett's layup with 0.7 seconds remaining in overtime gave Ball State a 72-71 win over the Western Kentucky University women’s basketball team Saturday night at E.A. Diddle Arena.
The loss was the second straight for WKU as it fell to 6-4 on the season. Ball State improved to 6-3 with the victory.
The Cardinals erased a 17-point first-half deficit, and held a one-point lead when a Patrice King layup gave Ball State a 44-43 lead with 11:50 remaining in regulation. The Lady Toppers responded with an 11-2 run to pull back out to a 54-46 lead — the same margin it held at halftime — with 8:07 on the clock. The lead was still eight with 5:34 remaining, but the Cardinals closed on an 11-3 run, tying the game on a Danielle Gritton layup with 2:07 to go. That would prove the be the last points of regulation, but WKU got two looks on the final possession before time expired at the teams went to the extra session.
Ball State jumped out to a quick four-point lead in the overtime, but WKU fought back to tie the game at 68-68 on a Kenzie Rich layup with 2:07 to play. After King put the Cardinals back in front with a layup, Hope Brown knocked down a three to give the Lady Toppers a 71-70 lead with 1:42 remaining. Again each team would come up empty on their next possessions, but a WKU turnover with 14 seconds left gave the ball back to Ball State. Emily Maggert was then able to find Jarrett on a backdoor layup with less than a second left to give the Cardinals the victory.
The Lady Toppers came out of the gate strong offensively, knocking down seven of their first 11 attempts from the field, opening up a 19-10 lead on a pair of Jessica Magley free throws with 11:29 to go in the period. Conversely, after hitting two of its first four shots, Ball State connected on just two of its next 19 field goal attempts as WKU was able to open up a 27-10 lead on a Caitlin House layup with 8:21 remaining before halftime.
For the half, the Lady Toppers shot 55.6 percent, while Ball State went into the locker room at just 29.7 percent. However, four of the Cardinals’ 11 field goals came from behind the arc as they were able to shoot their way back into the game down the stretch. Trailing 29-12, BSU used a 9-2 run to cut the WKU lead to 10 on a Emily Maggert layup with 4:25 on the clock. The teams traded baskets down the stretch, but Porchia Green knocked down a three with under a minute left to cut the Lady Topper lead to single digits, and send the teams into intermission with WKU in front 37-29.
For the game, Rich led all scorers with 21 points, while Brown tossed in a career-high 15 points for WKU. Green finished with 20 points and nine rebounds for Ball State, as Maggert added 16 points and eight boards, and King dropped in 14 off the bench.
The Lady Toppers look to end their skid on Monday as they return to Sun Belt Conference action, hosting Troy at 7 p.m. (CST).