Ohio State women roll past Falcons

COLUMBUS — The last time Bowling Green lost to Ohio State in Value City Arena, good things happened for
the Falcons throughout the rest of that season.
Head coach Curt Miller hopes the Falcons have the same mojo working this season, after the Buckeyes
posted a 91-72 win over Bowling Green in the Preseason WNIT Sunday.
In the 2004-05 season opener, the Buckeyes drubbed the Falcons, 89-41, also in the Preseason WNIT.
Bowling Green finished 23-8 overall that season, winning the Mid-American Conference regular season and
tournament championships and earning an NCAA tournament berth.
Whether the same thing happens again this season remains to be seen, but Miller is hopeful about his
team, now 1-1 overall.
“The last time we lost in this building we went to the NCAA tournament so I told them maybe this is the
start of another good season and we can get to the NCAA tournament again,” Miller said.
“One of the reasons we were excited to be invited to the Preseason WNIT is the opportunity to play a
fantastic program like Ohio State,” Miller added. “We looked forward to playing against a program that
truly has a chance to win the national championship this year.”
Ohio State had too much size and overall quickness for the Falcons, who struggled defensively against
Ohio State’s Jantel Lavender, a 6-feet-4 All-American and her cohorts. The Falcons also had problems
offensively against the Buckeyes, who put the clamps on Lauren Prochaska, one of BG’s mainstay 3-point
shooters. Prochaska finished with only 11 points. The Buckeyes funneled BG’s shooters into the lane and
the Falcons were unable to convert on the majority of their layups. BG shot just 32.7 percent on
2-pointers (16-of-49) and Ohio State blocked eight shots.
“We struggled in the first half adjusting to the physicality of the game. It took us out of rhythm and we
obviously we dug ourselves a hole and that was the game from the beginning,” Miller said.
Bowling Green was within seven, 27-20, with 7:21 left in the first half before Ohio State began to pull
A key moment came with 4:29 left in the first half when Bowling Green’s Maggie Hennegan fouled Sarah
Schulze. A technical foul was also given to the Falcons’ bench. Maria Moeller made the two free throws
for the technical and Schulze hit two foul shots to give the Buckeyes a 40-20 lead. Hill followed with a
free throw a minute later before Bowling Green broke its scoreless drought on a 3-pointer by Tracy
Pontius with 2:53 left to make it 41-23. The Buckeyes finished the half with a 14-5 run to grab a 55-28
lead at the break. Lavender had 18 points and seven rebounds in the first half.
The Falcons did battle back in the second half, out-scoring the Buckeyes, 44-36. Pontius scored 10 of her
team-high 18 points in the second half and Prochaska added nine of her 11 points in the final 20
“In the first half we were really frustrated and we got down big,” Prochaska said. “At halftime we came
together and said we just need to calm down. We can compete and play with this team if we calm down and
make shots. I think we showed that in the second half, that we could play with them.
“I think we leave here with more confidence, but knowing that we still have a lot to work on and we have
a long way to go. We can be a much better team than what we are right now.”
Lavender was one of four Buckeyes in double figures, finishing with 23 points and 14 rebounds (both games
Ohio State finished with a 51-35 rebounding edge and ended up shooting 44.9 percent from the field and
making 21-of-28 free throws (75 percent). In contrast, the Falcons, one of the top free throws shooting
teams in the nation last season, were only 10-of-15 from the free-throw line (66.7 percent).
“The key stat of the day was that we were not able to get to the foul line like we typically do with our
dribble-penetration and drawing fouls,” Miller said.
Bowling Green now faces the loser of Monday’s West Virginia-Marist game at a site and date to be
determined to close out its participation in the Preseason WNIT.