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Ball State Knocks off Ohio, 80-63

Jan. 31, 2006

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ATHENS, Ohio - Domenica Silva exploded for a career-high 27 points, but Ohio fell behind early and never led, dropping an 80-63 decision to Ball State Tuesday night in Mid-American Conference action in The Convo.

Silva (Sao Paulo, Brazil) scored 15 points in the second half, helping the Bobcats (7-12 overall, 4-4 MAC) claw back from a 21-point deficit and cutting the lead to just nine with 5:13 left. Ball State (12-7, 5-3 MAC) responded with an 11-0 run, though, pushing the lead back to the 20-point plateau with less than two minutes left in the game.

For the second-straight game, Ohio was forced to play without its leading scorer, sophomore Simone Redd (Warrensville Heights, Ohio), who suffered an ankle injury last week. Silva stepped up in Redd's absence, though, hitting 9-of-12 tries from the field and 9-of-10 free-throw attempts for her best effort in an Ohio uniform.

Ciara Iglehart (Mission Viejo, Calif.) chipped in 15 points for the Bobcats, while Rachel Frederick (Gibsonia, Pa.) paced Ohio with eight rebounds. Quintana Ward (Park Forest, Ill.) played all 40 minutes, recording four assists.

Four Cardinals finished the game with double figures in the scoring column, headed by Julie DeMuth, who notched a double-double with 18 points and 11 boards. Erica Cotton hit for 17 points, while Stephanie Douglas came off the bench to score 12 points in 15 minutes. Becca Bajorek scored 10 points and nabbed four rebounds.

Ball State had control of the game from the opening tip, allowing Ohio to tie the game twice but never trailing. The Cardinals shot 50 percent (14-28) from the floor in the first half, opening up an 11-point lead at the break. Cotton scored 13 of her 17 in the first frame, while DeMuth was just three rebounds short of a double-double at intermission.

Silva kept the Bobcats alive throughout the first half, scoring 12 points with a couple rebounds. Ohio shot 40.7 percent (11-27) from the floor in the half, but was held empty from behind the arc (0-4).

Ball State pushed its lead above the 10-point mark for most of the second half, but Ohio didn't quit. The Cardinals led 62-41 with 10:02 left, but thanks to an 18-6 Bobcat run, the lead was down to nine, 68-59, with 5:13 left. That's when an 11-0 Ball State run put the game away.

Ball State outrebounded Ohio 40-33. The Cardinal bench outscored Ohio's 31-7.

The Bobcats are set to hit the road this weekend before returning home for two-straight. Ohio is scheduled to face-off with Central Michigan on Saturday in Mount Pleasant. Tip-time is slated for 2 p.m. in Rose Arena.