Falcons adjusting with injuries

When Jasmine Matthews left Bowling Green State University’s women’s basketball game at Loyola Marymount
on Nov. 29, the young Falcons team had a frantic deer-in-the-headlights type of look on its face.
Bowling Green was leading by 11 when Matthews exited with a mild concussion with 9:46 to play. By the
time it was over, Loyola had capped the double-digit comeback with a three-point win.
It is those types of learning experiences that are helping Bowling Green this season, particularly
through a recent stretch of injuries.
Leading scorer Erica Donovan left late in a contest at Illinois State on Dec. 19 – Lauren Webb left early
– and Bowling Green held on for a 58-54 win after holding a 15-point first-half lead, despite the
It was a prequel to the Falcons’ game at Bradley two days later when they dressed just eight players due
to injury. Again, Bowling Green’s growth as a team became evident when it ran to a 14-point win. It’s
just a sign of how far the team that carries eight freshmen has come in just four games.
"When we saw the injuries happen this time we were able to finish the game a little better,"
Roos said. "… We had multiple people step up in the Bradley game in particular."
Donovan, Webb, Matthews and Leah Bolton were all out with injuries against Bradley. There is no definite
timetable set for their return.
The rash of injuries, clearly not ideal, can still be seen as some type of blessing. Bowling Green is
using the injuries as a reason to have more freshman see action, and have a young team play shorthanded,
particularly without its leading scorer in Donovan.
"It was two completely different teams," Roos said. "… But we played well for significant
portions of that game and were able to hold off any potential comebacks that Illinois State or Bradley
were trying.
"I’m happy that we were able to play with some injured kids and learned how to play with some kids
out. You have to learn how to do that," she added.
Along with the experience Bowling Green has picked up due to injuries, the Falcons have gained invaluable
in-game experience with the different types of looks opponents have given them.
Adjusting to the different game plans and prepping for different looks almost every game is allowing
Bowling Green to mature at a rapid pace, setting it up for conference play, which opens next month.
"Practice can prepare you significantly, but game experience prepares a lot better for the upcoming
season," Roos said. "There’s practice speed that you try to simulate to game speed, and then
there’s game speed that you try to simulate to MAC tournament speed and postseason tournament speed.
It’s hard to recreate that in practice.
"A lot of people are trying to throw different looks against us," Roos added. "That has
helped us, not only as a team, but as a staff trying to prepare our team for each game of what an
opponent might show at us."
ROAD TESTED: Through nine games, Bowling Green has played six road contests where it has gone 5-1. The
Falcons will play two more road games in Miami on Dec. 29 and 30 before returning home Jan. 3 in the
Mid-American Conference opener against Ball State.
Roos has not griped about the road games, she sees them as a learning tool for a young Falcons team.
"To gain experience by becoming road warriors for this team early on will help us later down the
road," Roos said. "It will help a young team more so than a veteran team because young kids
not only need game experience, but they need to get that experience on the road and learn how to get an
opponent’s best shot at you when they’re playing at home."
BALANCE: Bowling Green has predicated itself on balance this season, one of the keys to success, Roos
Donovan is averaging 15.3 points per game and Deborah Hoekstra is adding 10.6 ppg. There are four other
players scoring between five and nine points per game.
With the number of injuries Roos said the balanced scoring is priority No. 1 at this point.
"The better balance that we have right now, I think it will relieve pressure on other players,
especially our remaining upperclassmen," she said. "The better balance that we have has always
led to more success for us."
INJURY UPDATE: Roos said that the four injured players will all be evaluated by doctors after Christmas
and that their status will hopefully be known after the New Year.