Four hit double figures as Falcons down Patriots, 82-64

JOHNSON CITY, Tenn. — The Bowling Green State University women’s basketball team took an early lead on Sunday afternoon, picking up an 82-64 win over East Tennessee State University at Brooks Gym.

Lexi Fleming paced four double-digit scorers for the Falcons (7-1), with a season-high 18 points off the bench, while Jocelyn Tate added 16 points and eight rebounds.

Morgan Sharps hit a game-high four three-point field goals en route to 14 points, and Elissa Brett had a double-double, with 10 points and a game-high 10 rebounds.

Sharps had three steals and Hampton two, as the Falcons came up with 10 steals as a team.

Allison Day and Nyla Hampton scored eight points apiece, while Amy Velasco added six. Day had six boards, two assists and a game-best plus/minus rating of +30, while Hempton had five rebounds and a game-high six assists.

Jiselle Thomas was the lone player in double figures for the Buccaneers (8-3), with 16 points.

The Falcons never trailed, leading for the game’s final 39:30. Sharps hit a three-pointer to give the visitors a 12-point lead with 3:32 left in the opening quarter, and the Bucs crept within single digits only one time in the remaining 33-plus minutes.

And, after Fleming beat the halftime buzzer with a corner three, the Falcons led by double figures for the entirety of the second half.

Fleming went 7-for-9 from the field, making all five of her attempts from two-point range, and 2-of-2 from the free-throw line. She has now scored in double digits in three-straight games and in four of the last five contests.

Brett has scored in double figures in all eight games this season, and her double-double on Sunday was her second of the year.

Sharps has now made three or more three-pointers in four of the last five games.

The Falcons shot 47.8% from the field on the day, going 32-of-67. BGSU was 10-for-25 (40%) from the arc and 8-of-13 (61.5%) from the free-throw line.

The Bucs shot 35.6% from the floor, going 21-of-59. ETSU went 6-of-19 from three-point range, for a 31.6% success rate, but the hosts were 0-for-8 from the arc in the second half.

BGSU had a 41-36 rebounding advantage, with both teams finding success at the offensive end of the court. BG had 17 offensive boards, while ETSU grabbed 16.

The Falcons had advantages of 44-26 in points in the paint, 18-10 in fast-break points, 26-21 in bench scoring and 21-9 in points off turnovers. ETSU had a narrow 17-15 lead in second-chance points.

Sunday marked the eighth time in as many games this season that BG had fewer turnovers than the opponent.

After posting an overall record of 19-42 in head coach Robyn Fralick’s first two seasons at the helm, BGSU has gone 46-25 over the last two-plus seasons.

The Falcons will return to the state of Indiana, facing IUPUI on Thursday. Tipoff is scheduled for 5 p.m. at IUPUI Gymnasium (“The Jungle”).

Then, BGSU will fly to Texas for the South Padre Island Classic, where the Falcons’ opponents will include Texas A&M-Commerce (Dec. 19) and UTRGV (Dec. 20).

BGSU’s next home game is on Dec. 30, when Findlay comes to the Stroh Center.