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(updated 8 p.m.) CMU women rally to down Falcons, 82-79 in OT PDF Print E-mail
Written by By Sentinel Sports Staff   
Saturday, 18 January 2014 15:42
MOUNT PLEASANT, Mich. ­— Turnovers and missed free throws led to the downfall of Bowling Green’s women’s basketball team Saturday afternoon.
The Falcons held an 11-point lead with 3:01 left in regulation, but Central Michigan took advantage of Bowling Green’s mistakes to rally for an 82-79 overtime win in a Mid-American Conference showdown between division leaders.
‘‘We played smart for the majority of the game; take away a couple of minutes,’’ BG head coach Jennifer Roos said. ‘‘ I’m pleased with the effort. We have to clean up a couple of things.’’
Alexis Rogers made two free throws with 3:01 left in regulation to give BG a 69-58 lead.
The Chippewas then closed out the half on a 12-1 run to force overtime.
During CMU’s late run, BG had five turnovers, missed one shot from the field, and went 1-of-4 from the free-throw line.
Meanwhile the Chippewas went 4-of-9 from the field and 4-of-4 from the line.
Jessica Green tied the game at 70 on an offensive rebound basket with 29 seconds left in regulation. It was the third shot in the sequence as the Chippewas got two offensive rebounds.
CMU also had three steals and a blocked shot in the final three minutes.
‘‘We made some passes that were ill-advised. We picked it (the ball) up and got trapped ... We did create some fouls at the offensive end. We just missed some free throws down the stretch in regulation which kind of hurt,’’ Roos said. ‘‘There were two times we just had the ball ripped out of your hands, and that’s a toughness factor that usually doesn’t happen against us, but it did today.’’
The Falcons did have the ball with less than five seconds remaining in regulation, but could not get a shot off.
In the overtime, Miriam Justinger’s layup with 1:44 left tied the game at 77 for the Falcons.
Two free throws from Niki DiGuilio put CMU ahead to stay with 57 seconds to play as the Chippewas out-scored the Falcons 5-2 in the final minute.
‘‘You have highs and lows, and you try not to get too high or to low,’’ Rogers said. ‘‘I tried at the end of the game to get everyone else energized.
‘‘The fact that we went down and came back and had to go into overtime was still exciting,’’ she added.
The Falcons had 27 turnovers in the game, which the Chippewas turned into 28 points. Central Michigan also had 17 fast-break points.
The Falcons did not shoot a free throw in the first half, but started the second half making 14-of-15 from the line. Then BG was only 1-of-7 the rest of the way, missing three free throws in the overtime.
‘‘It’s a difficult environment even if you are a really talented free-throw shooter. Shooting into a sea of fans that despise you, is difficult,’’ Roos said. ‘‘You have got to be in the situation before to be able to excel in a situation like that.’’
Members of the CMU football team were in the stands behind the basket where the Falcons were shooting.
‘‘Once you get to overtime you already feel pressure, so I think the pressure of the fans down there did influence the shots a little bit,’’ Rogers said.
Rogers led BG with 20 points and 11 rebounds. Also for BG, Jillian Halfhill had 18 points and five assists before fouling out in overtime, and Erica Donovan had 16 points.
‘‘There are a lot of positives, but it points out what we need to work on,’’ Rogers said.
Green led five CMU players in double figures with 23 points. Crystal Bradford had 13 points,15 rebounds, seven blocked shots, and eight steals for the Chippewas.
‘‘Going into the game I really believed that Jessica Green was an ‘X’ factor because of her maturity,’’ Roos said. ‘‘She stepped up and proved to everybody that she was that ‘X’ factor.’’
NOTES: The Falcons are now 14-3 overall and 4-1 in the MAC … The Chippewas are 9-7, 5-0 ... Rogers’ double-double is her fifth of the season and 20th of her career ... CMU’s bench held a 28-19 scoring edge ... The Chippewas had 17 steals in the game ... Bowling Green hosts Eastern Michigan Thursday at 7 p.m. in the Stroh Center … On the way to Mount Pleasant on Friday, the Falcons stopped at Deborah Hoekstra’s mother’s home for dinner.
Last Updated on Saturday, 18 January 2014 22:04
 

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