(Updated 12:45 a.m on 3-1-13) Falcon women down Buffalo, 56-43 (2-28-13) PDF Print E-mail
Written by By JACK CARLE, Sentinel Sports Editor   
Thursday, 28 February 2013 22:45
BG's Jillian Halfhill (11) takes a shot on Buffalo's Kristen Sharkey (25). (Photo: Enoch Wu/Sentinel-Tribune)
Sparked by its free-throw shooting, rebounding and defense Bowling Green State University’s women’s basketball team was able to grind out a 56-43 win over Buffalo Thursday at the Stroh Center.
The Falcons are now 18-9 overall and 9-5 in the Mid-American Conference East with two league games remaining. PHOTO GALLERY
‘‘We want to win out the rest of the season and (have) that streak going into the MAC tournament,’’ BG senior Chrissy Steffen said.
Bowling Green is tied with Miami for second in the MAC East and is currently the No. 6 seed for the MAC tournament
‘‘We need to finish strong and we have a chance still to control our own destiny,’’ BG head coach Jennifer Roos said.
Bowling Green was able to win despite the loss of Alexis Rogers, the team’s second-leading scorer (10.8 points per game) and leading rebounder (6.2 rebounds per game).
Rogers suffered a broken nose in the first meeting with Buffalo on Feb. 7, and has been wearing a face mask to protect her nose. With 13:32 left in the first half Thursday, Rogers was hit in the face again and her nose was bleeding profusely. She was unable to return to the game, but she is expected to play Sunday against Ohio.
‘‘It can either make or break a team and I won’t expect anything differently from our team to come out and play even harder,’’ Steffen said about the Falcons’ reaction to playing without Rogers.
Roos said Rogers’ nose had  been healing well, but now she will have to wear a face mask for the rest of the year.
Jill Stein picked up the majority of playing time with Rogers on the bench. Stein played a season-high 28 minutes and finished with eight points, eight rebounds, three assists and three blocked shots.
‘‘It was a great effort by her,’’ Roos said about Stein. ‘‘She has developed into the first post (player) off the bench for us.’’
The Falcons hit the boards hard, especially in the second half, to hold a 43-33 rebounding edge. Steffen had 10 rebounds for the Falcons, Danielle Havel matched Stein’s total of eight and Jillian Halfhill added seven rebounds.
The game started slowly for both teams. The Falcons broke a 3-3 tie with a 16-2 run to take a 19-5 lead with 7:09 left in the first half.
Six different Falcons scored in the 16-2 run, but it was BG’s defense which made the difference. Buffalo had 19 possessions in the run and were 1-of-11 from the field with eight turnovers.
The Bulls did cut into the lead over the final seven minutes of the half and BG took a 27-19 lead into the break.
In the second half,  Buffalo was within five, 35-30, with 13:04 remaining in the game.
Bowling Green then began to pull away and a 3-pointer from Miriam Justinger gave the Falcons a 15-point edge, 49-34, with 5:57 left in the game.
The Falcons then held on for the win.
‘‘This game gave our kids confidence,’’ Roos said.
Bowling Green was 17-of-22 from the free-throw line (77.3 percent), including an 8-of-10 effort in the second half. Buffalo was only 3-of-4 from the line in the game.
‘‘The game was just really physical throughout,’’ Roos said. ‘‘We got to the foul line and made foul shots ... it just allowed us to control the tempo.’’
The Falcons also limited the Bulls to 30.7 percent shooting (17-of-56) from the field. Roos was pleased that her team held Margeaux Gupilan scoreless in the second half after Gupilan scored 10 points in the first half.
‘‘You don’t get the pretty points at this time of the year, you only get the (wins) and that’s what we need,’’ Roos said.
NOTES: Buffalo is 9-18, 7-7 ... Offensively, all 10 Falcons who played in the game scored led by Halfhill’s 12 points and Steffen’s 10 points ... The double-double of 10 points and 10 rebounds by Steffen was her first double-double of the season and third of her career ... Buffalo’s Mackenzie Loesing was called for a flagrant two technical foul on Havel and ejected from the arena with 1:53 to play in the game ... Tipoff for BG’s game against Ohio on Sunday is 1 p.m. in the Stroh Center and it’s Senior Day for Simone Eli, Havel, Allison Papenfuss and Steffen.
Last Updated on Friday, 01 March 2013 10:18

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