(Updated 7:25 p.m.) Central Michigan routs Falcon women, 81-48 (3-14-13) PDF Print E-mail
Written by JACK CARLE, Sentinel Sports Editor   
Thursday, 14 March 2013 14:30
BG's Alexis Rogers (32) faces resistance from Central Michigan's Crystal Bradford (23) and Jessica Schroll (hidden) during a shot on the basket. (Photo: Enoch Wu/Sentinel-Tribune)
CLEVELAND — Central Michigan’s switch to a 2-3 zone early in the first half raised havoc with Bowling Green State University’s women’s basketball team Thursday afternoon.
Due to a large part to the zone defense, the Chippewas broke away from a 7-7 tie to take a 40-24 halftime lead on the way to an 81-48 rout of the Falcons.  The third-round Mid-American Conference tournament game was played in Cleveland’s Quicken Loans Arena. PHOTO GALLERY
Bowling Green had a season-high 34 turnovers in the game which Central Michigan, who had 22 steals, turned into 39 points. BG’s previous high for turnovers in a game this season was 21.
‘‘Anytime you turn the ball over 34 times ... it’s not going to favor your team very well,’’ BG head coach Jennifer Roos said.
Of the 11 Falcons who played in the game, 10 of them had at least one turnover and there were also two team turnovers on shot clock violations.
‘‘We’ve been working on that a lot lately,’’ CMU’s Brandi Baker said about the 2-3 zone. ‘‘We know what to look for, we know where the reverse pass is going, so we made sure we stayed on our toes and looked for a steal.’’
The Falcons could never adjust to CMU’s zone.
Central Michigan used its length and athleticism to throw Bowling Green off-balance. The Chippewas trapped early and often when the Falcons crossed midcourt. If Bowling Green was able to break that double-team, there was another trap waiting.
BG’s Alexis Rogers, who finished with 14 points and eight rebounds, said the Falcons were expecting the Chippewas to play man-to-man defense.
‘‘It was difficult to pass through them. They are taller than us, they were wider than us,’’ Rogers said. ‘‘It was our goal to get the ball into the middle a lot, because anywhere along the sidelines we were getting trapped ... There were traps coming from all over the place.’’
When the Falcons did get a shot attempt against the zone, the ball was not going into the basket. BG was 10-of-27 from the field in the first half, including a 4-of-17 effort on 3-pointers. For the game the Falcons were 19-of-55 from the floor (34.5 percent) and 8-of-33 (24.2 percent) on 3-pointers. BG was 2-of-2 from the free-throw line, the fewest number of free-throw attempts in a game this season.
‘‘We just took them out of their game and that was our game-plan,’’ CMU head coach Sue Guevara said. ‘‘Bowling Green, their bread and butter is that on-ball screen on the wings and up top; it’s enough to drive you out of your mind.
‘‘What we wanted to do was take their bread and butter away from them and make them score a different way,’’ she continued. ‘‘I have to give all the credit to our defense.’’
In the regular-season meeting between the two teams, Bowling Green shot Central Michigan out of its zone on the way to an 84-59 victory.
‘‘With our (2-3) zone at one point we were pretty big and I think it made for some tough shots for Bowling Green,’’ Guevara said. ‘‘Once we got into the press, it was tough for them to get out of the traps.’’
Central Michigan broke away from the 7-7 tie with a 30-3 run as Bowling Green scored only one field goal in a span of 11:05.
Jill Stein scored eight points in the final 4:35 of the first half to help get the Falcons to within 16 points, 40-24, at the break. Stein finished with 10 points.
The Chippewas then took away any doubt with a 14-2 run in a four-minute span in the second half.
‘’It’s disappointing that we didn’t show our best today,’’ Roos said. ‘’We’re a better team against that type of pressure; we’re a better shooting team, as well, than what we showed today.
“It’s not fun to leave Cleveland without cutting down the nets, but it’s especially not fun when you don’t play your best,’’ Roos continued. ‘’But we were unable to do that, obviously, because Central Michigan played so well.’’
Central Michigan, now 19-11, plays top-seeded Toledo Friday starting at noon in a semifinal game.
Bowling Green, 22-10, awaits word on a possible postseason WNIT bid.
Last Updated on Friday, 15 March 2013 10:13

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