BG women seek redemption (03-20-13)
Written by JACK CARLE Sentinel Sports Editor
Wednesday, 20 March 2013 09:37
Redemption is the theme and SMU stands in the way.
|BG's Chrissy Steffen (21) and Allison Papenfuss (20) reach for a rebound during a game earlier this season. (Photo: Enoch Wu/Sentinel-Tribune)
The Bowling Green State University women's basketball team is looking to make amends for a poor performance in an 81-48 loss to Central Michigan last Thursday in the third-round of the Mid-American Conference tournament.
The Falcons will have that opportunity this Thursday against SMU in the opening round of the WNIT. Tipoff is at 7 p.m. in the Stroh Center. Bowling Green is 22-10 and SMU is 21-9.
''We had to swallow a bitter pill when we lost the way we did against Central Michigan in the MAC tournament,'' BG head coach Jennifer Roos said. ''We look to redeem ourselves after that last performance, in the WNIT.''
Roos made sure the Falcons put the CMU game behind them as quickly as possible. After two days off after the loss, the team returned to practice on Sunday.
After Roos yelled at the players, managers, and coaching staff, the team did a lot of running.
''At Sunday's practice coach Roos made it very clear that we were not allowed to feel sorry for ourselves anymore,'' BG senior Allison Papenfuss said.
''(Coach) Roos set the stage early and let us know that we are not done yet,'' freshman Miriam Justinger said about the Sunday practice. ''We're refocused and ready.''
The Falcons, especially seniors Simone Eli, Danielle Havel, Papenfuss, and Chrissy Steffen, are happy to have another opportunity to play.
''It's been an up-and-down year. It's been a crazy year with injuries and everything going on,'' Papenfuss said. ''I don't want to say goodbye to my teammates yet. They have become family to me; there's no way that I'm ready to just say 'See you later' and move on. I'm definitely ready to keep going.''
Papenfuss said coach Roos continues to push the team to get better and correct mistakes, especially after the Falcons had 34 turnovers, resulting in 39 points, in the loss to Central Michigan.
''Even though it's the end of the season, we're still working fundamentals, getting turnovers down, trying to improve from the huge amount of mistakes we made in the Central game,'' Papenfuss said.
While four of the 11 Falcons currently dressing for games will be gone, Roos looks at the WNIT as an opportunity for the younger players to get better.
''Anytime you get the opportunity to play, it allows our underclassmen to get more tournament experience and that's a huge goal,'' Roos said.
SCOUTING SMU: The Mustangs earned an automatic WNIT bid after winning the Conference USA regular-season title before losing to UCF in the conference tournament.
SMU's Keena Mays was the C-USA player of the year. Mays, a 5-foot-7 junior, averaged 18.5 points and 3.8 assists per game. A transfer from Kansas, Mays played in 22 of SMU's 30 games this season.
Also for SMU, Alisha Filmore, a 5-7 senior, is averaging 12.2 points per game and Akil Simpson, a 6-0 junior, is averaging 10.5 points and 8.2 rebounds per game.
''The expression is that everything is bigger in Texas and that applies to SMU,'' Roos said. ''They are bigger than we are. They are faster than we are. So we have our work cut out for us in this game.''
HOME: Bowling Green averaged 1,619 fans for 18 home games this season and that helped the Falcons secure a first-round WNIT game.
''We're thrilled that we get to play at home again,'' Papenfuss said. ''We have some of the best fans in the country and they are just absolutely phenomenal with how well they support us.
''We're so excited about the opportunity to get to play for them at least one more time (and) hopefully more than one.''
NUMBERS: This is the first meeting between Bowling Green and SMU in women's basketball.
Bowling Green is 2-3 against teams to make the NCAA tournament field, with wins over Dayton and Central Michigan.
The Falcons are 4-4 versus teams in the WNIT with wins over Butler, Wyoming, Ball State and Akron.
In postseason WNIT games, Bowling Green is 2-4 with the last win coming over Syracuse, 72-69, in Anderson Arena in 2009.
NEXT: The BG-SMU winner will play the Akron-Duquesne winner in the second round on a date and at a site to be determined. Second-round games will be played either Saturday, Sunday or Monday.
Akron plays at Duquesne on Thursday.