(updated11:35 p.m.) Falcon women down CMU, 67-55 (2-19-14)

BG’s Jill Stein (40)
takes a shot on Central Michigan’s Jewel Cotton (20). (Photo: Enoch Wu/Sentinel-Tribune)

You can try to put it aside as just another game.
But it hurt when Bowling Green lost a double-digit lead at Central Michigan on Jan. 18, and the Chippewas
rallied for a 82-79 overtime win.
The Falcons got a chance to show their mettle Wednesday. They avenged the heart-breaking loss, beating
the Chippewas, 67-55 before 1,854 fans at the Stroh Center.
‘‘It makes a statement (in) our integrity that we aren’t going to fold,’’ BG senior Jill Stein said. ‘‘It
shows the character of our team, that there is no one specific thing that’s necessarily going to make us
fold. We can fight back in a lot of different situations.
‘‘It’s good going into the rest of the season, just to let people know that one loss at Central Michigan
isn’t something that’s going to intimidate us or scare us, but that we’re going to keep on pushing.’’

On Wednesday, the seniors — Jillian Halfhill, Alexis Rogers and Stein — led the way for the Falcons.
The trio combined for 40 points, 27 rebounds, 10 assists, three blocks, and two steals.
Halfhill scored a game-high 18 points, 16 in the second half, and had eight rebounds. Halfhill was 9-of-9
from the free-throw line, including 6-of-6 in the final 3:36 of the game.
Stein checked in with a double-double with 12 points and 10 rebounds.
Rogers finished with 10 points and nine rebounds while also drawing the main defensive assignment on
CMU’s Crystal Bradford.
‘‘I thought Alexis Rogers played fantastic defense on Crystal Bradford. … She got her number called on
that defensive assignment more than anybody else,’’ BG head coach Jennifer Roos said. ‘‘The kid
(Bradford) can score every time down (the floor). Her game has evolved since we last played them in
January. … She makes everyone around her better.’’
Niki DiGuilio led CMU with 15 points and Bradford had 14 points and 14 rebounds, but was only 5-of-21
from the field. Bradford came into the game averaging 19.5 ppg.
In addition to holding Bradford under her average, the Falcons had a good overall defensive effort
against the Chippewas, holding them to 29 points below their per game average for the season. The 55
points were the fewest CMU has scored in a game this season.
‘‘The first game we got a little confused sometimes on what we were going to do on switching or not
switching. I think this time we did way better on making up for the switches, helping, and getting to
the shooters,’’ Halfhill said.
‘‘I thought we did a good job of making them shoot late in the shot clock,’’ Roos said.
Bowling Green also held a 44-36 rebounding edge.
‘‘We knew that with such a good offensive team, you can’t give teams like that second opportunities,’’
Stein said. ‘‘We knew (rebounding) was going to be such a huge component in kind of slowing their
scoring down, not allowing them to get into a flow.
‘‘And it helped us to control the tempo of the game.’’
Bowling Green was up 29-26 at the half, and got a quick start in the final 20 minutes. BG led by 19,
54-35, after a pair of Halfhill free throws with 7:25 remaining in the game.
‘‘We were taking our time and trying to convert at the end of the shot clock,’’ Halfhill said about BG’s
offensive success. The Falcons were 12-of-25 from the field in the second half.
The Chippewas then went to their full-court pressure, and crawled back to within 10 points on three
occasions. The final time was with 3:54 to play when a Bradford three-point play cut BG’s lead to 61-51.

Unlike the game at CMU when the Falcons did not respond well late in the game, Bowling Green, led by
Halfhill, hung tough down the stretch to secure the win.
‘‘We held them to one-and-dones when we needed to and got some defensive stops there, that really helped
us get the victory,’’ Halfhill said.
Halfhill said the Falcons were prepared for CMU’s pressure.
‘‘We got a little turnover happy there. But we came together and we figured out a new break for it,’’
Halfhill said.
NOTES: With five conference games remaining, both BG and CMU are 12-1 in the Mid-American Conference …
The Falcons are 22-3 overall and the Chippewas are 16-9 … It was Stein’s fourth double-double of the
season and her career … The Falcons play at Buffalo Saturday with tipoff at 2 p.m.

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