|Updated 7:15 a.m. Falcon women beat Niagara (11-15-12)|
|Written by By Sentinel Sports Staff|
|Thursday, 15 November 2012 22:22|
LEWISTOWN, N.Y. — Chrissy Steffen scored a career-high 28 points and the Bowling Green State University women’s basketball team made 29 free throws on the way to a 79-74 victory over Niagara University Thursday.
‘‘We made some free throws down the stretch and, honestly, our free throws throughout the game were the biggest difference,’’ BG head coach Jennifer Roos said.
The Falcons were 29-of-37 from the line (78.4 percent) as Jillian Halfhill was 10-of-12 and both Danielle Havel and Miriam Justinger were 4-of-4. BG out-scored Niagara, 29-17 at the free-throw line.
Steffen scored 17 of her points in the first half, including 11 in the first five-plus minutes, helping the Falcons surge to a 24-8 lead. The Purple Eagles responded, however, cutting the BG lead to as few as five points late in the first half. BG was up 41-34 at the break.
BG led by as many as 12 in the second half, but the Purple Eagles kept coming back, closing to within three points on two occasions in the final seconds. The Falcons made 7-of-9 free throws in the final minute of the game as Steffen and Halfhill each made two free throws in the final 15 seconds.
“This a significant improvement from the first game in regards to execution,” Roos said. ‘‘We were running plays correctly. Now, the next step is to start finishing and reward ourself for the execution by making some hoops.’’
Halfhill finished with 14 points, while Alexis Rogers had nine points and seven rebounds and Danielle Havel had seven points and seven rebounds.
Rogers returned to the lineup and played 24 minutes after missing the season opener.
‘‘She is not at full strength ... She looked a little tired,’’ Roos said about Rogers.
Steffen made 10 of her 15 shots from the field, including a 3-of-7 effort on 3-pointers.
“I’m proud of Chrissy Steffen in particular,’’ Roos said. ‘‘She made big shot after big shot for us and made some clutch free throws down the stretch.
“We challenged her as a staff that she needed to look to be more aggressive offensively because she is a capable scorer,’’ Roos continued, adding that with Steffen scoring it would open things up for her teammates.’’
In the late going, Rogers hit a driving layup with 1:07 on the clock to make it 72-66. Lauren Gatto scored for Niagara, but Halfhill made a pair of free throws with 53.2 seconds left.
After a Kayla Stroman bucket, the Purple Eagles fouled Steffen, who missed the front end of a one-and-one opportunity. The hosts could not convert at the other end, and the ball went back to BG on alternate possession as the teams battled for a rebound with 24.3 seconds left.
Rogers was fouled and split a pair of free throws, but the Falcons fouled Val McQuade, who made two foul shots to cut BG’s lead to 75-72 with 14.4 seconds remaining.
Steffen made two free throws with 12.6 seconds left to make it 77-72, but McQuade answered with two free throws.
Halfhill then sealed the victory with two free throws with 5.8 seconds remaining.
NOTES: Steffen’s previous career high was 27 points in the Falcons’ win over Kent State at the Stroh Center on Jan. 4 ... Jasmine Matthews saw her first action of the season for the Falcons, playing three minutes ... BG held a 42-35 rebounding edge ... The Falcons continue a four-game road trip with a Monday game at Purdue. That game will be televised by the Big Ten Network.
|Last Updated on Friday, 16 November 2012 08:16|
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