Falcons’ shooting cold in opener


The season-opener for Bowling Green State University’s women’s basketball team finished in fitting
fashion Friday night.
Sometimes that would be a compliment, but not on this night.
The Falcons were sloppy, erratic, inconsistent, and just bad offensively in a 53-52 loss to Bucknell in
the Stroh Center Friday night.
Despite its struggles for the vast majority of the game, Bowling Green found a late spark and nearly
escaped with a win. But with the Falcons trailing 53-52, Deborah Hoekstra’s 3-pointer from the right
wing with four seconds left was in and out, sealing a game in which Bowling Green shot just 6-for-26 (23
percent) from 3-point range.
“It was a great look,” said Hoekstra, who led the Falcons with 17 points. She was 3-for-6 from long
distance, all of which came in the first half. “It’s a shot I practiced probably 20,000 times just last
summer. It just wasn’t meant to be this game.”
“She had the hot hand,” Falcons coach Jennifer Roos said. “With the way the game was being called, had we
thrown the ball anywhere else I wasn’t sure that we were going to get the call to get to the foul line
or to get a quick score.”
On Bowling Green’s previous possession, Hoekstra stroked a 3 from nearly the same spot as the would-be
game winner. She hurried down the court in celebratory fashion, except none of her teammates followed.
Hoekstra was called for a travel, giving the ball back to the Bison with 55 seconds left, and setting up
the dramatic last-second shot.
“That’s what the ref saw,” Hoekstra said of her travel, “so that’s what it was, I guess. I can’t go
against it.”
Trailing 53-50 with 1:34 to play, Hoekstra knocked down two free throws to set up the heart-stopping
final minute.
But the late drama was nothing short of a surprise as Bowling Green was fortunate to even be in the game.
The Falcons shot at a 30 percent clip (16-for-54) and got no offensive production from Erica Donovan and
Jasmine Matthews, two of its key returning players.
Donovan played just eight minutes of the first half after picking up two early fouls. Her third foul came
just 1:51 into the second half, sending her to the bench until there was 12:15 to play in the game. By
that time Bucknell had 42-37 lead.
“Erica is our go-to girl,” Hoekstra said. “She makes things happen, so not having her in there, it
affected more than just scoring and that type of thing. It was hard, but that’s what the refs called it.
It was a physical game.”
Without Donovan, the Falcons were virtually non-existent inside. Just under half (26) of Bowling Green’s
field goal attempts (54) came from 3-point territory.
Abby Siefker had nine points from the post, but freshman Lauren Webb, who saw 10 minutes inside, didn’t
Miriam Justinger finished with 12 points and Rachel Konieczki added 11.
“We do need to focus more, especially with our post presence in Erica and Abby and even Miriam down on
the four, we need to work more of an inside-out game,” Hoekstra said. “Coach Roos stresses that.”
“They really took away our transition game and forced us to take a plethora of 3s,” Roos said of
Bucknell. “They really controlled the tempo the whole game.
“We were a little bit more conservative in the second half in what we ran, which didn’t help us a ton
because then we settled into just shooting the 3 every possession down,” she added.
After starting 6-for-9 from the floor to open the game, Bowling Green’s offense hit a wall.
The Falcons committed 11 first-half turnovers. That, coupled with a 3-for-15 effort from the field in the
final 12:17 of the first half, led to a 32-28 halftime lead for the Bison.
“In the first half, we were really forcing the ball inside a lot, which we needed to do to get more paint
touches, but we needed to make a little bit more pass fakes because that’s a team that gives excellent
help,” Roos said. “We were really trying to force some things. They were aggressive looks, I’ll give us
that. But when you get limited touches in there and they’re scoring off turnovers at the other end,
that’s a bad combination.”
NOTES: Bowling Green is 0-1 for the first time since the 2011-12 season … The Falcons are 44-9 all-time
in the Stroh Center … Just six different Falcons scored … Bowling Green was out-rebounded 41-35.

No posts to display