The BG women's basketball team improved to 3-0 with an impressive 90-58 win over Niagara at the Stroh Center Friday, Nov. 15. Here is a closer look at the victory. ...
BiG TWITTER POST: Falcons have 5 players hit double figures, have 6 players hit a 3, control boards & claim 90-58 win over Niagara at Stroh Center Friday
BiG GAME STORY: The Falcons broke an early 2-2 tie by scoring the next eight points to lead 10-2 in first three minutes. By the 11:10 mark of the first half BG led by double digits at 19-9. Niagara was able to cut the deficit to four points at 26-22 with 7:04 left, only to see a 13-4 run by Bowling Green restore a double-digit lead as the Falcons took a 48-34 halftime advantage. An 11-3 BG run over the first six minutes of the second half allowed the Falcons to pull away; they led by as many as 33 before settling on the 32-point final margin.
BiG OVERVIEW: The Falcons had five players finish in double figures, led by sophomore Erica Donovan with 20 points. Junior Deborah Hoekstra finished with 15 points, while senior Jillian Halfhill scored 13 points, freshman Rachel Konieczki had 11 and junior Jasmine Matthews had 10.
BiG PLAY: The Falcons had an early 13-point lead whittled down to four points, with a Niagara basket making the score 28-24 with 6:09 left in the first half. Jillian Halfhill connected on a 3-pointer with 5:59 on the clock, and that sparked an 13-4 run that helped BG pull away for good. Erica Donovan had six points and Deborah Hoekstra had four points in that run, and the Falcons never led by less than 10 the rest of the way.
BiG PLAYER OF THE GAME: Sophomore Erica Donovan finished with 20 points and seven rebounds, including six offensive boards. Donovan was 7-for-10 on field goals, including 1-of-3 on 3-pointers, while making 5-of-6 free throws. Donovan also finished with one assist and one blocked shot while only turning the ball over once in 26 minutes.
BiG NUMBERS: Both Niagara and Bowling Green finished with 21 turnovers in the game, but those numbers deserve deeper analysis. Niagara had 15 turnovers in the first half, but most of those miscues were self-inflicted wounds, as BG had just three steals. The Falcons took advantage of the mistakes, scoring 16 points off turnovers in that half. In the second half it was Bowling Green's time to be "loose" with the ball as the Falcons committed 14 turnovers while the Purple Eagles had only six. But Niagara didn't take advantage, scoring just six points off turnovers (BG also had six points off turnovers in the second half).
BiG NOTE: The Falcons took advantage of a size mismatch to pound the Purple Eagles on the boards, outrebounding them 49-23 overall. BG actually outrebounded Niagara on the Falcon's offensive glass 20-19 (in other words, BG had more offensive rebounds than Niagara did defensive, which is absurd). Jill Stein led the way with 11 rebounds, including four offensive, while Alexis Rogers grabbed eight rebounds, also adding four offensive. Erica Donovan got six of her seven rebounds on the offensive glass.
BiG THOUGHT: I thought coach Jennifer Roos did a clever job managing possible foul trouble. There were 25 fouls called in the first half, including 11 on BG, but the Falcons didn't have anyone with more than two (although five players had two apiece). The players deserve some credit as well: Miriam Justinger was whistled for her third foul less than a minute into the second half, but never drew another (and played 16 minutes); Jill Stein also drew her third early in the second half and did not foul again (and played 12 minutes). With a bench shortened by injuries, that's going to be critical.
BiG QUESTION: Can the Falcons keep things rolling on the road? BG faces Butler Monday night, then will battle four very strong teams over the next few weeks. Bowling Green will play neutral-site games against Marist, Old Dominion and Monmouth as well as a game at Ohio State, and all four of those teams are very strong (Marist, ODU and OSU all have RPIs in the 120s or better). Coming out of that stretch with a winning record would bode well for the rest of the season.
MORE INFO: Click here to read the game story from the contest. Click here to view the photo gallery from the contest.
WANT MORE? Here are a few post-game quotes from Friday's victory ...
- “When you only have nine [players], everybody has to contribute,” coach Jennifer Roos said. “I thought we got good contributions from our bench tonight.”
- Roos said 15 Niagara turnovers in the first half was more about mistakes by the Purple Eagles than great defense by the Falcons. “They just got going too fast,” Roos said. “As you saw, they corrected that in the second half, and they got us into foul trouble by dribbling and attacking.”
- “Getting to the foul line and making shots was the key to the game, in my opinion,” Roos said, noting that BG made 30-of-41 (73.2 percent) of its free throws in the game. “If we would have shot 50 percent from the line, this would have been a close game.”