AP NCAA Basketball

(updated 11:55 p.m.) Falcon women beat Akron, move into tie for 1st place in MAC East (2-20--13) PDF Print E-mail
Written by By JACK CARLE,.Sentinel Sports Editor   
Wednesday, 20 February 2013 21:54
BG's Alexis Rogers (32) grabs the rebound against Akron. (Photo: Enoch Wu/Sentinel-Tribune)
The phrase ‘big win’ is often overused in sports.
Jennifer Roos, the head women’s basketball coach at Bowling Green State University, brings out ‘big win’ only on special occasions.
In a season where the Falcons have signature victories over Dayton and Central Michigan, Wednesday’s 74-61 win over Akron was called a ‘big win’ by Roos.
With the victory Bowling Green and Akron are now tied for first place in the Mid-American Conference East at 8-4. It also avenges a 68-63 BG loss at Akron on Jan. 31.
‘‘Our kids look at our standings board every day in the locker room and they see we were one game behind Akron,’’ Roos said. ‘‘Our goals throughout the years I have been here have always been the same. We want to be playing your best at the end of February and the beginning of March.
‘‘Our kids were extremely motivated by seeing that standings board, and they wanted to get this win for that reason. But they also wanted to get the win because we felt like an opportunity at Akron to steal a road win,’’ Roos added. ‘‘We looked at this game and we wanted to win this game.’’
Danielle Havel, a fifth-year senior, said the Falcons are used to being at the top of the MAC.
‘‘Having to fight back really shows our character,’’ Havel said. ‘‘We knew what this meant getting a win.’’
The Falcons got it done with 3-point shooting in the first half and rugged inside play in the second half.
Bowling Green was 6-of-14 on 3-pointers in the opening half to take a 37-31 lead into the break. Havel was 3-of-5 on 3-pointers and Chrissy Steffen was 2-of-4 in the opening 20 minutes.
In the second half, Alexis Rogers went to work inside. The redshirt junior finished the game with 16 points and 12 rebounds, with 14 points and 10 rebounds coming in the second half.
‘‘We’ve been working a lot on getting the ball into the post and working inside out,’’ Rogers said.
After scoring only two points in the first half, Rogers said she adjusted the face mask she is wearing after suffering a broken nose against Buffalo on Feb. 7.
“I still got those same moves in the second half and they started falling for me,’’ Rogers said. ‘‘I tried to not get too down on myself, so I kept shooting the ball.’’
In addition to Rogers’ efforts, Steffen had nine rebounds to go with her game-high 17 points, Havel chipped in with 13 points and five rebounds, and Jill Stein came off the bench to score nine points.
Akron held a 25-16 rebounding edge at the half, but Bowling Green out-rebounded the Zips 25-17 in the second half.
‘‘We talked about the last game (against Akron) we went into the locker room up just as we did today. We talked about the importance of boxing them out on their offensive end,’’ Rogers said. ‘‘The last game the same thing happened and we lost the battle of their offensive rebounds.’’
In the second half Wednesday, BG had 16 defensive rebounds while allowing Akron only six offensive rebounds, resulting in four second-chance points.
“Rebounding is something that we take pride in. Whenever we rebound the ball well as a team, we always win,’’ Rogers said. ‘‘Tonight it wasn’t really about going out and showing Akron that we could win; it was about playing our game.’’
‘‘‘Lex’ did a great job cleaning up those boards when we needed it,’’ Havel said.
Bowling Green was able to build an 18-point lead, 62-44, with 7:24 to play in the game.
Akron rallied to within seven points twice, the final time at 68-61 on a pair of Sina King free throws with 1:59 left in the game.
Steffen then made four free throws and Jillian Halfhill made two to help the Falcons put the game away.
NOTES: Both Bowling Green and Akron are 17-8 overall ... It’s the first time all season that Havel has scored in double figures in back-to-back games ... Rogers’ double-double was the third of the season and 15th of her career ... Rogers said she has been fitted for a face mask that will fit closer to her face ... The Falcons scored 44 points in the paint, including 30 in the second half  ... Steffen is now tied for sixth all-time at BG with 170 3-pointers ... BG assistant coach Ali Mann was on the road recruiting and missed the game ... The Falcons play at Miami Saturday with tipoff at 2 p.m.


Last Updated on Thursday, 21 February 2013 11:13

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