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Ball State women lose in MAC final

CLEVELAND – Rachel Tecca scored 30 points and dominated inside, leading Akron to the NCAA tournament for the first time with a 79-68 win over Ball State in the Mid-American Conference championship Saturday.

Tecca, who scored 20 in the first half, added 12 rebounds for the third-seeded Zips (23-9), who started the season 4-4 but have won 16 of 17 and will enter the NCAAs as one of the nation’s hottest teams.

With their first MAC title, Akron also tied a school record for wins in the program’s 40th year.

The Zips led by 25 in the second half and then withstood a late rally by the Cardinals (18-16), playing their fifth game in six days.

Brittany Carter made five 3-pointers in the last eight minutes and led Ball State 23 points. The Cardinals knocked off top-seeded Bowling Green in the semis but didn’t have nearly enough to take down Akron.

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