Updated: 11:55 p.m., Miami edges BG women, 57-54 (1-24-13) PDF Print E-mail
Written by By JACK CARLE, Sentinel Sports Editor   
Thursday, 24 January 2013 22:07
BG's Jillian Halfhill (11) and Miami's Haley Robertson (31) fight for the rebound. (Photo: Enoch Wu/Sentinel-Tribune)
Key plays happen at different times during any athletic contest.
But in the final minutes of a close game, those key plays are magnified and often are the difference between winning and losing.
That was the case Thursday night at the Stroh Center as Miami’s ability to secure offensive rebounds in the late going helped the RedHawks hold off Bowling Green, 57-54, in a women’s Mid-American Conference game. PHOTO GALLERY
“When games get tight, unfortunately kids end up watching the ball (on rebounds),’’ BG head coach Jennifer Roos said. ‘‘It’s tough when you play good defense for about 20 to 25 seconds and then lose an offensive rebound.’’
Miami had four big-time offensive rebounds in the final four minutes of the game.
The first came 18 seconds after Bowling Green’s Alexis Rogers had tied the game at 47 with a pair of free throws.
Miami’s Courtney Osborn missed a jumper, but teammate Kristen Olowinski grabbed the rebound and Osborn would nail a 3-pointer to put the RedHawks ahead to stay.
The final key rebound came with 6.1 seconds left after Olowinski missed two free throws with the RedHawks holding a 56-54 lead. Miami had no one in the lane to rebound, but inexplicably the ball came out to Hannah Robertson.
Robertson said her job was to guard the in-bounds after the free throw, not allowing Bowling Green to roll the ball in, in an effort to save time.
“But the ball came off and it’s one of those things where you see the ball and you just react,’’ Robertson said.
“We had our chance to get, potentially to get a shot off at end if we get a defensive rebound,’’ Roos said. ‘‘It’s disappointing that we could not come up with the ball.’’
Robertson was immediately fouled and with 3.6 seconds left she made the first free throw, but missed the second.
BG grabbed the rebound, but a desperation heave by Danielle Havel came after the final buzzer had sounded.
“It’s heart-breaking first off, but I guess it was miscommunication on our part ... lack of focus for one full second,’’ Rogers said about Robertson’s rebound. “It’s one of those things you don’t see happen very often, but when it does, gosh it hurts.”
Bowling Green got a quick start and was up 11-2 with 13:52 left in the first half.
Miami then went on a 15-2 run to get back into the game and the RedHawks led 26-21 at the break.
In the second half, the RedHawks would lead by as many as 11 points, 34-23, after a layup by Olowinski with 14:41 left in the game.
At that point freshman Bailey Cairnduff helped get the Falcons going.
Cairnduff, the last player off the bench for the Falcons, scored seven points and had an assist and steal in the span of 6:03 to spark BG’s comeback. Her jumper with 8:38 left, cut Miami’s lead to 41-38.
‘‘(Cairnduff) stepped up and made some big shots. We made a run with Bailey and Miriam (Justinger) in the game. For two freshmen that’s tough in a game like this against Miami,’’ Roos said.
The RedHawks would rebuild their lead to seven points, 45-38, with 7:33 remaining.
The Falcons battled back to tie the game at 47 with a 9-2 run on five points from Havel and four from Rogers.
The RedHawks then survived with their offensive rebounds to claim the victory.
‘‘This is becoming a very scrappy blue-collar team,’’ Miami head coach Maria Fantanarosa said. ‘‘Kristen Olowinski is one of the best offensive rebounders I have ever coached ... She’s relentless. And Hannah Robertson at the end, she’s just competitive; she refuses to lose.’’
Olowinski finished with 15 rebounds, including seven at the offensive end. Both BG and Miami had 14 offensive rebounds, but the RedHawks scored 20 second-chance points to only 12 second-chance points for the Falcons. BG held a 38-37 overall rebounding edge.
Rogers led the Falcons with a game-high 19 points and she added nine rebounds. Havel had nine points and 10 rebounds for BG.
Osborn scored 14 points for Miami, Erica Almady added 13 and Robertson scored 11.
“You knew it would come down to the wire,’’ Roos said. ‘‘Both teams made runs at different times. They (Miami) got some rebounds right there at the end ... They did a good job at both ends of the floor.’’
NOTES: Miami is 12-6 overall and in sole possession of first place in the MAC East at 4-1 ... BG is 12-6, 3-2 ... Rogers and Miami’s Erica Almady were teammates for two years at Lakota West High School ... With her sixth rebound of the game, Olowinski became the sixth player in MAC history to reach 1,000 career rebounds ... The two teams combined to go 5-of-34 on 3-pointers ... Bowling Green plays at Eastern Michigan Sunday with tipoff at 2 p.m.
Last Updated on Friday, 25 January 2013 11:00

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