(Updated 11:15 p.m.) BG women down Michigan, 63-53 PDF Print E-mail
Written by JACK CARLE, Sentinel Sports Edito   
Thursday, 27 March 2014 20:46
BG’s Jill Stein (left) controls the ball against Michigan’s Cyesha Goree during the first half of an WNIT game against Michigan. (Photo: Enoch Wu/Sentinel-Tribune)
Bowling Green’s seniors responded in a big way Thursday night against Michigan.
The trio of Alexis Rogers, Jillian Halfhill and Jill Stein combined for 48 points and 21 rebounds to help the Falcons post a 63-53 victory over Michigan in the third round of the WNIT.  PHOTO GALLERY
Bowling Green, now 30-4 overall, hosts Rutgers in the Elite Eight of the WNIT Monday with a 7 p.m. tipoff at the Stroh Center. Rutgers advanced with a 91-79 double-overtime win over Seton Hall Thursday.
In BG’s 76-65 second-round win over St. Bonaventure on Monday, Rogers scored only two points, Stein was scoreless, and Halfhill scored 18 points.
“I have got to commend our senior class,’’ BG head coach Jennifer Roos said. ‘‘Those two (Rogers and Stein) in particular and Jillian Halfhill stepped up today, and I knew that they would. You saw what type of intestinal fortitude those three had, and I knew we would get the performance that we got from them.
‘‘There was a different intensity with them,’’ Roos continued. ‘‘They wanted to prove what they could do and they did.’’
Against Michigan, Rogers and Stein were back on track, with Rogers scoring a game-high 20 points, and Stein posting a double-double of 10 points and 11 rebounds. Halfhill played all 40 minutes, scoring 18 points.
‘‘That’s kind of a unsaid thing. For most seniors at the end of the season, you have this sense of urgency and you kind of get a little slap in the face,’’ Stein said. ‘‘We’re trying to make this last as long as possible.
‘‘It’s not really anything we’ve said. We just come out, and we understand that we’re seniors and it’s our time to lead ... to make those hard shots, and make those defensive stops,’’ Stein continued. ‘‘Our team is incredible, just getting on our back and just flowing with it, taking the energy, and even bringing some of their own.’’
The game was tied at 19 with 7:03 left in the first half, when a Jasmine Matthews 3-pointer put the Falcons ahead to stay. Bowling Green was up 31-22 at the break.
In the second half, the Falcons were very efficient offensively, making 12-of-18 shots from the field (66.7 percent), including 4-of-7 3-pointers (57.1 percent), and 4-of-5 free throws (80 percent).
Michigan was within nine, 52-43 with 7:12 remaining in the game, but a Rogers layup 57 seconds later put BG’s lead into double-digits for the remainder of the game.
‘‘It feels good to finally be playing really good again,’’ Halfhill said.
Bowling Green played good defense against Michigan, led by Matthews’ effort on Shannon Smith. Smith came into the game, averaging 14.0 points per game. She was held to seven points, including two in the second half, before fouling out with 40 seconds left in the game. Smith had five assists, but also had four turnovers.
‘‘We wanted to control tempo and take away their transition,’’ Roos said. ‘‘They (UM) score about 50 percent of their points in transition. Smith can get the outlet (pass) at halfcourt, and she is her own fast break.’’
A raucous crowd of 2,403 also helped boost the Falcons.
‘‘A lot of college programs don’t play in front of an atmosphere like this, and we’re fortunate enough to do that,’’ Roos said. ‘‘This game had an end-of-the-season feel to it; it was a tournament atmosphere.
‘‘The crowd lifted us through the entire night.’’
The crowd was the third-largest home crowd of the season for the Falcons, now 16-0 at the Stroh Center.
“Tonight was amazing. Your can’t ask for better fans,’’ Halfhill said. ‘‘That is a huge boost.’’
NOTES: It was BG’s second win of the season over Michigan, 20-14 ... The Falcons bested the Wolverines, 63-52 in the season-opener at the Iona Tournament ... Rogers now has scored 1,241 points and is 17th on the career-scoring list passing Michelle Shade (1,233) and Melissa Chase (1,223) ... Chrissy Steffen is next on the list with 1,245 points ... It was Stein’s sixth double-double of the season ... Stein also had a team-high five assists ... The Falcons were 9-of-16 from the 3-point arc ... There were five ties and four lead changes in the game, all in the first half.


Last Updated on Friday, 28 March 2014 10:06

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