BiG TWITTER POST: Falcons ride hot 2nd-half shooting (55.6%), impressive defensive effort to claim 67-47 win over Butler at Stroh Center Wednesday
BiG GAME STORY: Both teams struggled with their shooting in the first half and neither team had a lead bigger than six points. Butler scored the game’s first five points but BG managed to tie the game at 10:30 mark of the period. In the final 4:08 of the first half the Falcons outscored the Bulldogs 11-4 as Jill Stein scored five points and Danielle Havel added four to give BG a 29-25 halftime lead. Bowling Green made six of its first seven field-goal attempts in the second half and eventually built a 47-31 advantage. Butler came no closer than 13 points after that and the Falcons led by as many as 22 before settling on the final margin.
BiG OVERVIEW: The Falcons had four players finish in double figures, led by senior Danielle Havel and freshman Miriam Justinger with 12 points each. Senior Allison Papenfuss came off the bench to added 10 points, all in the second half, while sophomore Jasmine Matthews also had 10 points.
BiG PLAY: The Falcons’ victory ended up being a 20-point rout, but the first half was very close as neither team led by more than six points. Bowling Green used an impressive defensive effort to limit Butler to just four points in the final 5:48 of the first half, but a scoring burst by Jill Stein in the final minute of the half helped the Falcons take a four-point lead at the break. With BG leading by three points, Stein’s basket with 1:11 to play helped extend her team’s advantage, and after a Butler basket Stein banked in a 3-pointer with 36 seconds to play to establish a six-point advantage. The 3-pointer was Stein’s second in as many games – and the only two of her BG career.
BiG PLAYER OF THE GAME: Senior Danielle Havel finished with 12 points and 12 rebounds to lead the team in both categories, posting her second double-double this season and fourth of her career. Havel made 4-of-6 shots from the field, including 1-of-2 3-pointer attempts, and was 3-for-4 from the foul line. Havel also posted five assists, tying her career high, and added a pair of steals in the victory.
BiG NUMBERS: Have the Falcons found a way to escape their early season shooting problems? BG entered Wednesday’s games connecting on just 35.6 percent of their field-goal attempts this season, and in the first half against Butler the Falcons shot 37.5 percent. But in the second half BG got hot, making 6-of-7 to start and 10-of-14 (71.4 percent) in the first nine minutes in outscoring the Bulldogs 23-9 in that span. The shooting cooled, as the Falcons finished with a 15-for-27 (55.6 percent) mark, but that kind of shooting would be good enough to win a majority of games.
BiG NOTE: One thing the Falcons have done consistently well all season is rebound, and that held true on Wednesday night as well. Bowling Green outrebounded the Bulldogs 42-31, marking the sixth time in eight games BG held a rebounding advantage. The Falcons grabbed 14 offensive rebounds – which resulted, curiously, in just four second-chance points. Meanwhile, Butler had just nine offensive rebounds (meaning it grabbed 24.3 percent of its available misses, compared to BG’s 38.9 percent mark). Curiously, the Bulldogs were remarkably proficient at turning those offensive rebounds into points, collecting 13 second-chance points.
BiG THOUGHT: If I told you that the final margin of victory in Wednesday’s game was 20 points, and that Alexis Rogers did not score while Chrissy Steffen had just five points, would you guess that BG had won or lost? Obviously the Falcons won, and one of the keys to the victory was getting points from the post even when Rogers, who was 0-for-8 in the game, wasn’t scoring. That’s why it was important that Danielle Havel, Allison Papenfuss and Jill Stein combined to score 31 points for BG. That trio made 13-of-19 shots from the floor (68.4 percent) to give Bowling Green an efficient scoring option.
BiG QUESTION: Can the Falcons keep the positive energy from the last two games flowing this weekend, when they travel to Chicago to take on Northwestern? The contest will be a challenge, as the Wildcats are 6-1 with a game Friday before hosting the Falcons Sunday. This team’s energy, at least in its victories, seems to come from its defense, so the defensive metrics from the contest against Northwestern should be interesting to watch.