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updated: 3/9/2013 6:01 PM

Northern Illinois falls to Ball State 53-51

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Associated Press

MUNCIE, Ind. -- Jauwan Scaife scored 17 points, and Ball State held off Northern Illinois 53-51 on Saturday in the regular-season finale for both teams.

Majok Majok added nine points for the Cardinals (15-14, 8-8 Mid-American), who won their fifth straight game and locked up the No. 5 seed and a first-round bye in the MAC tournament, which begins Monday.

Darrell Bowie led the Huskies (5-24, 3-13) with 10 points. Aksel Bolin chipped in nine points and nine rebounds. Northern Illinois closed the season on a 10-game losing streak and will be seeded either No. 10 or No. 11, depending on the outcome of Miami of Ohio's game against Ohio later Saturday.

Marcus Posley's driving layup gave the Cardinals their first lead, 46-45, with 5:41 left before Ball State got key stops in the final minutes to hold on for the victory.

Ball State won despite a 14-of-30 performance from the free-throw line.

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