Special to THE Pantagraph
MUNCIE, Ind. - Foul trouble and cold shooting plagued the Illinois State women's basketball team in a 65-61 loss to Ball State Wednesday before a Worthen Arena crowd of 745.
The Redbirds committed twice as many fouls as Ball State (28-14). That led to the Cardinals shooting 32 free throws to ISU's 10.
ISU shot just 30 percent from the field in the first half and 35 percent overall while falling to 4-1.
"We made way too many mental mistakes," Redbirds' coach Robin Pingeton said. "We weren't ready to go, and I take the blame for that. It's our staff's job to get them mentally ready to play. I'm disappointed with our intensity."
Ball State (5-0) led by as many as 15 points in the first half and enjoyed a 33-24 halftime margin.
ISU led once in the second half at 48-47 with 7:51 remaining before three Julie DeMuth free throws and a Raechelle Hampton basket gave the Cardinals control again.
Amber Shelton and Kristi Cirone paced the Redbirds with 16 points each. Ashley Sandstead added 10. Lashawn Johnson grabbed 10 rebounds for ISU.
Johnson fouled out with 3:07 left and Sandstead picked up her fifth foul in the final minute.
DeMuth led Ball State with 19 points and 14 rebounds. The Cardinals, who shot 39 percent from the floor, also got 11 points from Tina Bolte and 10 from Hampton.