Randy Davis added 12 points and Tyrae Robinson 10 for the Cardinals (14-14, 5-10 Mid-American), who snapped a nine-game conference losing streak. They clinched no worse than the No. 10 seed in next week's MAC tournament.
Ball State never trailed and shot 25 of 43 (58.1 percent) from the floor, the first time it finished above 50 percent since a game against Northern Illinois on Jan. 21 - its last MAC win before Wednesday.
Central Michigan trailed 32-26 at the break and thwarted its own comeback hope by shooting just 29 percent (9 of 31) in the second half.
Jarrod Jones had seven points and 10 rebounds for the Cardinals.
- Central Michigan
- Ball State