BUFFALO, N.Y. – The Bowling Green State University women’s basketball team ended the game with a key defensive stop, as the Falcons picked up a 64-61 road win over the University at Buffalo Wednesday. The Mid-American Conference game was held at Alumni Arena.
Elissa Brett had 19 points and seven rebounds to lead the Falcons (17-2, 6-1 MAC) in both categories. None of her rebounds were bigger than an offensive board with 9.6 seconds left in the game.
Sophie Dziekan had a career-high 14 points, going a perfect 7-for-7 from the field, while Allison Day scored 10 points. Dziekan, Day and Jocelyn Tate each had six rebounds in the win.
Tate’s well-rounded stat line also included six points and six assists (tying her career high in the latter category), while Nyla Hampton had nine points and five helpers. Amy Velasco led all players with seven assists, as BGSU had 26 assists on 28 field goals.
“This was a tough, gritty conference road win against a tough opponent,” BGSU coach Robyn Fralick said. “I think we will learn a lot from this game, but we made some really timely plays.
“Elissa Brett and some other players really stepped up and made some big plays to enable us to come up with the victory.”
Zakiyah Winfield scored 20 points and Re’Shawna Stone 19 for the Bulls (8-8, 3-4 MAC), with Jazmine Young adding 13.
Young’s layup with 2:43 to go cut the BGSU lead to just two points, at 61-59, but Tate spun past her defender for a layup with 2:03 left. Young hit a pull-up jumper, and a turnover gave the ball back to the Bulls.
UB’s Kayla Salmons missed a long two-point try, and the ball went out of bounds with 42.8 seconds left. The Falcons used all of the shot clock on the ensuing possession, and a BG shot was off the mark, but Brett came up with the offensive rebound and BGSU used a timeout with 9.6 seconds left.
The Bulls had committed just one foul in the quarter to that point, so BGSU successfully inbounded the ball four times, and UB fouled the Falcons four times. After the final foul in that sequence, Buffalo rebounded the ball and called time with 4.9 seconds remaining.
On the ensuing inbounds play, defensive pressure by Hampton forced the inbounds pass to be caught by Stone outside the top of the three-point line. With Tate guarding her, Stone was unable to get a shot off before time expired, and BGSU had the road win.
BGSU has matched the overall win total for all of last season, when the Falcons went 17-16.
And, BGSU has doubled last season’s road victory total. The 2022-23 Falcons are 8-2 in true road games and 9-2 in all games away from home. Last year’s club went 4-7 in road games and 8-11 in road and neutral-site games combined.
The Falcons had success inside in the opening quarter. Day scored BGSU’s first four points, with Dziekan scoring the next eight. Day’s second jumper broke a 2-2 tie with just over two minutes gone, and after the Bulls tied the contest, Dziekan scored the game’s next four buckets.
Dziekan took a pass from Elissa Brett for a layup that put BG on top, 6-4, and Jocelyn Tate grabbed a UB miss, went coast to coast and fired a bounce pass to Dziekan for another layup. A Velasco pass and a Tate steal and dish led to two more Dziekan hoops and a 12-4 advantage at the evening’s first media timeout.
UB scored the next seven points, with a Young bucket making it a one-point game, but Fleming found a cutting Brett for a layup, and then Fleming and Hampton combined to win the ball back at midcourt, leading to another Brett bucket and a 16-11 lead after the first period.
The Bulls responded by scoring the first six points of the second quarter, taking the lead on a Re’Shawna Stone layup. But, Kadie Hempfling’s entry pass found Day for a layup, beginning an 8-2 BG run.
UB answered with a hoop, but Hampton’s jumper was followed by a Tate layup from another Hempfling feed. Velasco was fouled and hit both shots to give BG six-straight points and a 24-19 lead with 4:19 left in the half.
Moments later, Velasco found Hampton for a short-corner jumper, but Winfield’s three-pointer cut the BG lead to 26-24.
The Bulls tied it on a Stone layup, but Tate kicked the ball out to Brett for a three-pointer and a 29-26 advantage. A Dziekan putback in the final minute of the period gave the Falcons a 31-28 lead at the intermission.
Two Winfield hoops gave UB the lead early in the second half, before Fleming drove and scored. But, back-to-back buckets by Young gave the Bulls a 36-33 lead.
Brett, however, scored te Falcons’ next eight points, with a pair of three-pointers – the first off of a Dziekan offensive rebound and the second from a Hampton pass – and a driving one-hander off glass. The latter shot gave the Falcons a 41-37 lead midway through the quarter.
Tate scored out of the media timeout, but Hattie Ogden’s triple cut the BG lead in half. Dziekan, though, scored on a contested bank shot, then backed her defender down and hit a reverse layup for a 47-42 lead.
Hampton went to the floor for a steal, then scored on the ensuing possession, and when Fleming spotted Brett for a three-pointer, the Falcons had a 52-44 lead after three periods.
In the fourth quarter, the Bulls would not let the Falcons pull away. Day banked a shot off glass, and Hampton hit a corner three, but the hosts kept answering.
Fleming hit a layup, and Hampton drove and dished the ball to Day for a hoop and a six-point lead, 61-55. But, Stone threw in a shot, and after a BG miss, Young’s layup cut the BGSU lead to 61-59 with 2:43 to go, setting the stage for the aforementioned frantic finish.
Buffalo shot an even 50% from the field, going 26-of-52, while BG had a 43.8% success rate on the evening. The Falcons went 5-for-22 from three-point range, while UB was 2-of-10 from long distance.
The teams combined to attempt just 15 free throws, but BGSU going 3-for-6 and UB 7-for-9. The Falcons had a 34-31 rebounding advantage.
For the 18th time in 19 games this season, the Falcons committed fewer turnovers than the opponent. BG had 14 turnovers while forcing the Bulls into 17, and the Falcons had an 18-10 advantage in points off turnovers. Both teams scored 42 points in the paint.
After going 19-42 overall and 5-31 in MAC play in head coach Robyn Fralick’s first two seasons at the helm, the Falcons are 55-26 overall and 30-15 in the league over the last two-plus years.
The Falcons return to the road this weekend, heading to DeKalb, Ill., for a Saturday matchup with Northern Illinois. That game is scheduled to begin at 2 p.m. ET at the Convocation Center.
Then, the Falcons will return home for a pair of games next week, hosting Western Michigan Wednesday and Miami three days later Saturday.