Aaron Armstead led the charge off the bench with 11 points and his brother Aaric and J.J. Cravatta had nine each for the Huskies (14-16, 8-10 Mid-American Conference).
Frank House had 19 points and Majok Majok 12 for the Cardinals (5-24, 2-16), who have lost 12 of 13.
Northern Illinois led 28-27 at the half. Chris Bond made a basket for Ball State at 18:42 to tie the game at 41 but the Cardinals were limited to four free throws until Mark Alstork had a three-point play with 7 minutes left. By then the Huskies led 48-39.
Ball State ended up 2 of 11 from 3-point range and had 19 turnovers. Northern Illinois was 24 of 31 from the foul line.
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