AP NCAA Basketball

Updated: 2:01 a.m., BGSU women pound Niagara, 90-58 (11-15-13) PDF Print E-mail
Written by JACK CARLE Sentinel Sports Editor   
Friday, 15 November 2013 21:03
BGSU's Erica Donovan shoots the ball over Niagara's Gabby Baldasare during the second half. (Photo: J.D. Pooley/Sentinel-Tribune)
Sparked by strong play from its bench, the Bowling Green State University women’s basketball team beat Niagara, 90-58 Friday at the Stroh Center.
BG had only nine players available as Leah Bolton (knee) and Kennedy Kirkpatrick (torn muscle) remain out, and Katrina Salinas is out for the season with a knee injury.
BG got 40 points from its bench players, including 15 from Deborah Hoekstra, 11 from Rachel Konieczki, and 10 from Jasmine Matthews. The three scored 23 of BG’s 42 second-half points.
‘‘When you only ... have nine, everybody has got to contribute, and we got good contributions from our bench tonight,’’ BG head coach Jennifer Roos said.
‘‘It’s everybody wanting to win a championship. It’s everybody wanting to contribute,’’ said BG’s Erica Donovan, a redshirt sophomore.
In addition to three double-figure scorers off the bench, Donovan scored a game-high 20 points for the Falcons, and Jillian Halfhill added 13 points and a game-high five assists.
‘‘She can create her own shot,’’ Roos said about Donovan, who is in her first season with the Falcons. ‘‘We run plays to get people shots; yet, that’s a kid who can create if the play breaks down.’’
Roos said Donovan is playing both inside and outside, axdding that’s she’s a tough matchup when she is on the perimeter and a handful inside.
‘‘She was the spark we needed,’’ Roos said. ‘‘We weren’t shooting the ball well in the first half, and she cleaned up the glass.’’
BG took the lead for good, less than two minutes into the game.
However, Niagara was within 28-24 after a Donisha Watson layup with 6:09 remaining in the first half.
The Falcons then scored 20 points over the final six minutes of the half to take a 48-34 lead into the break. Halfhill hit a 3-pointer to start the late surge, Hoekstra made two 3-pointers and three free throws, and Donovan chipped in with six points.
BG then controlled the second half on the way to the 32-point win.
After shooting only 51.8 percent from the free-throw line in its first two games of the season, BG was 30-of-41 (72.3 percent) from the line against Niagara, including a 20-of-25 effort in the first half.
‘‘If we shoot 50 percent, this is a ball game all the way down to the last media timeout,’’ Roos said.
‘‘We’ve put in some new things to spread people out, with the way the game is going to be called,’’ Roos added. ‘‘A lot of coaches around the country will do that, create plays to simply draw fouls, so they can get to the foul line.’’
BG also had a strong rebounding game finishing with 49 rebounds, including 20 at the offensive end, to only 23 for Niagara.
‘‘When you get an offensive rebound, it’s kind of like momentum for the team,’’ Donovan said.
Jill Stein led the Falcons with 11 rebounds and Alexis Rogers had eight.
‘‘For the first time in a long time, we were bigger than another team inside,’’ Roos said.
BG’s defensive point of emphasis was to take away Niagara’s 3-point shooting, and the strategy worked as the Purple Eagles were just 2-of-12 from the arc, including a 1-of-9 effort in the second half.
‘‘For us to hold them to 2-of-12 from the arc, that was a big key for us,’’ Roos said.
NOTES ... The Falcons, 3-0 overall, play at Butler on Monday ... Niagara is 0-2 ... The point totals were career-highs for Donovan, Hoekstra, and Konieczki.
Last Updated on Saturday, 16 November 2013 09:27

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