Falcon women face Western Michigan in MAC tourney (3-12-13) PDF Print E-mail
Written by By JACK CARLE Sentinel Sports Editor   
Monday, 11 March 2013 23:38
It’s payback time for the Bowling Green State University women’s basketball team.
The Falcons, 21-9 overall, face Western Michigan, 11-19, Wednesday in the second-round of the Mid-American Conference tournament. Tipoff is at noon in Cleveland’s Quicken Loans Arena.
Just a little over a month ago, the Broncos stunned the Falcons, 55-54 in Kalamazoo as WMU’s Corie Buchanan scored in the lane with 4.6 seconds left to play.
After Buchanan’s basket, BG’s Chrissy Steffen had a long 3-point attempt to win the game, but it was off target.
Jillian Halfhill’s 3-pointer had given BG a 54-53 lead with 19.7 seconds left.
The Falcons were plagued by shooting woes the entire game, going 19-of-70 from the field (27.1 percent) and 10-of-17 (58.8 percent) from the free-throw line.
Now the Falcons have the opportunity to face Western Michigan in a win or go home game.
‘‘Cleveland has been very good to us in the past,’’ BG head coach Jennifer Roos said. ‘‘I’m excited with the momentum of going 9-2 since the beginning of February.
‘‘We have to be able to score to be successful, bottom line,’’ she added.
It’s Western Michigan’s first appearance in Cleveland since 2008.
“We weren’t invited to this dance, but we are going to crash it,” said Western Michigan head coach Shane Clipfell after the No. 9 Broncos advanced with an 80-72 win over Eastern Michigan. Clipfell is the first Bronco women’s basketball coach to lead WMU to a MAC tournament win in his first season.
Miracle Woods, a 5-foot-11 freshman and Marquisha Harris, a 5-10 sophomore, are WMU’s leaders.
Woods is averaging 8.9 points and 5.6 rebounds per game. She scored a career-high 29 points and added 10 rebounds in the win over Eastern Michigan.
Harris is averaging 8.8 points and 5.6 rebounds per game.
Julia Henson, a 5-8 sophomore, hit seven 3-pointers in the win over EMU.
The Falcons rolled past Kent State, 76-35, to advance to Cleveland.
‘‘For us, our first goal was to get to Cleveland,’’ said BG senior Allison Papenfuss, who had her first career double-double in the Kent State win. ‘‘We’re really going to look at it, one game at a time ... It’s just going to be short-term goals.
‘‘We’re in Cleveland, we’re going to try to stay in Cleveland as long as we can.’’
NO. 5: Bowling Green is the number five seed for the tournament and had to play a first-round game for the first time since 2004. In 2004, the Falcons advanced to the title game.
‘‘I don’t like to compare this team to other teams in the past a whole lot. I don’t want to compare this team to other conference teams as well, but it’s hard not to look at what Central Michigan did last year as a five seed in the tournament and seeing the success that they had,’’ Roos said.
Central Michigan reached the championship game last season, beating Bowling Green 69-66 in the semifinal before losing 72-71 to Eastern Michigan in the title game.
FAMILIAR: Bowling Green’s Miriam Justinger and Western Michigan’s Jessica Jessing were high school teammates at Northview High School. Both are freshmen this season.
Justinger has played in every game for the Falcons, making 17 starts. She is averaging 5.5 points and 2.2 rebounds per game.
Jessing has played in all 30 games for WMU, averaging 3.8 points and 3.1 rebounds per game.
NUMBERS: Bowling Green is 43-17 all-time in MAC tournament games while Western Michigan is 17-23.
In 32 years of the MAC tournament, Bowling Green has been a participant 29 times.
NEXT: The BG-Western winner faces No. 4 seed Central Michigan in the third-round Thursday at noon in Quicken Loans Arena.
Last Updated on Tuesday, 12 March 2013 09:39

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