|BG women happy with start (11-29-13)|
|Written by JACK CARLE Sentinel Sports Editor|
|Friday, 29 November 2013 10:02|
It's been a whirlwind month for the Bowling Green State University women's basketball team.
The Falcons have played seven regular-season games in November, going 6-1, with only one game at home. The 6-1 start, which includes wins over Michigan and Ohio State, has generated some interest in the national polls.
Bowling Green starts December with a game Sunday at Springfield, Mass. against Monmouth University at 10 a.m. It's the finale of four games for the Falcons in the Basketball Hall of Fame Challenge.
''We're excited right now where we stand at 6-1, yet everybody knows that your non-conference record is exactly that, your non-conference record. Things start to count when you get to conference play,'' BG head coach Jennifer Roos said.
The first three games of the Hall of Fame Challenge were in Columbus last weekend.
''The competition level there was extremely high,'' Roos said. BG played Marist, Old Dominion, and Ohio State.
She added the Falcons' knowledge and preparation impressed her during the three games.
''We have a handful of kids on our team that have an extremely high basketball IQ, and we needed that,'' Roos said. ''Their maturity level, and high IQ definitely rose to the top.
''I was happy with our conditioning level,'' Roos added. ''On day three against Ohio State, I felt like we had more energy in the second half than Ohio State did, and that was a big turning point.''
Of a possible 600 total minutes in the three games, BG's starters logged 484 minutes, with Jillian Halfhill playing 110 and Alexis Rogers playing 101 of a possible 120 minutes each.
''If you would have seen the enthusiasm in the locker room after the game against Ohio State (the last of the three games), they still had some more energy with how hard they were cheering when they heard they had time off,'' Roos said.
Roos also had a list of areas that the Falcons could improve upon after the three-day marathon.
''We need more contributions from kids off the bench,'' Roos said. ''Granted, I know I control playing time, but we made some mistakes when we came off the bench that we can't make.
''We have the ability to get contributions from everybody on the team, night in and night out, and that's our goal to get those contributions higher and higher with each game.''
Roos is also looking for improved free-throw shooting from the team. The Falcons are 96-of-150 from the line (64 percent), so far this season, with the five starters going 74-of-119 (62.2 percent).
''That free-throw percentage has got to increase,'' Roos said.
''Yet, one of my favorite stats is that you still want to make more free throws than the other team shoots, and through the (first) six games we met that,'' Roos added.
MONMOUTH: The Hawks are off to an 0-6 start.
Chevahhan Paalvast, a 6-foot redshirt senior, leads the Hawks averaging 11.8 points and 6.5 rebounds per game.
Paalvast is a native of New Zealand.
BOLTON: BG freshman Leah Bolton is recovering from knee surgery. She dressed for the three games at Ohio State and participated in warmups.
''She is getting closer,'' Roos said.
HOME: After Sunday's game, the Falcons play three of their remaining four December games at home.
The Falcons host UW-Milwaukee (Dec. 8); Massachusetts (Dec. 15); and St. Francis, Pa. (Dec. 29). The lone road game is at Purdue on Dec. 22.
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