BiG TWITTER POST: Falcons score game’s 1st 15 points, allow Colorado State to shoot just 21% in 1st half & 35.3% in game in 71-49 win at Stroh Center Saturday
BiG GAME STORY: This contest was basically over shortly after it started as the Falcons got 3-pointers from Jillian Halfhill, Jasmine Matthews and Danielle Havel to jump-start a 15-0 run in the game’s first six minutes. BG led by as many as 19 points in the first half and held a 31-14 advantage at the break. In the second half Colorado State cut the deficit to 13 points early, but by midway through the period the Bowling Green lead had been expanded beyond 20 points, and the Falcons led by as many as 26 before settling on the final margin.
BiG OVERVIEW: The Falcons had four players finish in double figures, led by freshman Miriam Justinger with 12. Junior Jill Stein came off the bench to added 11 points, while junior Jillian Halfhill and sophomore Jasmine Matthews each had 10. Halfhill also had a career-high 13 rebounds to post her first career double-double.
BiG PLAY: In a rout such as Saturday’s game, there really isn’t a big play per se. Instead the key was the play of Bowling Green’s defense in the game’s early minutes. The Falcons did not allow Colorado State to score on its first nine possessions, forcing six missed shots and three turnovers. What’s more, BG didn’t allow any offensive rebounds for second-chance points in that span of six minutes. By the time the Rams got their first, point on a free throw at the 13:41 mark of the first half, the Falcons already had 15 points and were rolling to the win.
BiG PLAYER OF THE GAME: Junior Jillian Halfhill finished with 10 points and a career-high 13 rebounds (which, by the way, was more than double her previous high of six rebounds) for her first career double-double. Halfhill shot well, making 4-of-6 shots from the field, including both of her 3-point attempts. She also had a team-high four assists and didn’t turn the ball over once in 32 minutes.
BiG NUMBERS: The shooting numbers for this game would hardly predict a 22-point BG victory. While the Falcons allowed Colorado State to shoot just 35.3 percent from the field, Bowling Green’s field-goal percentage wasn’t much different (37.1 percent). The free-throw percentages also weren’t much different, as the Rams shot 66.7 percent from the line and the Falcons shot 68.0 percent. There was a big difference in 3-point shooting, as BG shot 30.8 percent from behind the arc while CSU shot just 13.6 percent. The biggest difference? The number of attempts, as Bowling Green took 10 more shots from the field (62 to 51) and shot significantly more free throws (25 to 15) to give it more points with similar shooting percentages. The Falcons helped themselves by forcing 18 turnovers and dominating the boards, grabbing 20 offensive rebounds while allowing just seven on the way to a 48-31 rebounding advantage.
BiG NOTE: The turnovers were a big part of the game story as BG forced 11 in the first half and 18 in the game. But the Falcons also took advantage of the turnovers, finishing with 20 points following those turnovers. What’s more, Bowling Green didn’t allow its turnovers to become points for Colorado State, giving up zero points off turnovers in the first half and just seven in the game despite turning the ball over 13 times.
BiG THOUGHT: The Bowling Green bench had an interesting night against Colorado State. The Falcons got 36 points from the bench (granted, partially because there was a lot of “garbage” time at the end of the) as well as 13 rebounds. But there also were eight turnovers by the reserves as newcomers such as Miriam Justinger, Bailey Cairnduff and Katrina Salinas settle into their roles. It’s nice to have veteran post players such as Jill Stein and Allison Papenfuss to contribute points and rebounds, but the entire set of reserves is capable of more. The two freshman, Salinas and sophomore Deborah Hoekstra are working to become more comfortable in their roles. The keys are to be steady and to bring energy, and the bench players are very capable of that as well.
BiG QUESTION: What can the Falcons do to get their offense untracked? BG did a better job of attacking the basket (and the offensive glass) to improve its scoring compared to the Temple contest. But Bowling Green continues to struggle with its shooting, especially from behind the arc (the Falcons made just 5-of-17 3-pointers in the first half). BG will have to shoot its 3’s better to beat the better teams on the schedule.