Bowling Green women’s basketball 6-foot-1 senior forward Allison Day was dominant in the paint, scoring 27 points to lead the Falcons to an 88-59 Mid-American Conference victory over Miami at the Stroh Center Saturday.
Day was scoring with the left or right hand. There was no Kareem Abdul-Jabbar overhead sweeping hook, but she moved enough to get around the defender and Miami had little answer.
She was fouled six times, usually on the floor before she could get off her shot. That was the best the RedHawks could do defensively.
Day transferred to BGSU this year after playing for Loyola Chicago coach Kate Achter, a one-time Falcon cage standout now in the university’s Athletic Hall of Fame.
When Achter became coach at Detroit Mercy this year, Day came to Achter’s alma mater, BGSU. At Loyola, Day, a fifth-year player with just this year remaining for eligibility, was already a 1,000-point scorer.
“I played for her for four years and it was definitely a slap in the face (when Achter left), but she definitely helped me grow into the player I am today,” Day said.
“She’s a very intense coach, but we had a great relationship on and off the court. I’m grateful for her and we’re still close and still talk to each other.”
As a result of Day’s play Saturday, the Falcons outscored the RedHawks, 44-28, in the paint. Day’s textbook post moves are the result of years of instruction and practice.
“I’ve had various coaches over the years,” Day said. “They’ve all helped me in different ways. I think I started off at Loyola doing a lot of face-up stuff and just kind of reading the defense if they catch you off one leg or the other.
“(Assistant) coach (Maria) Kasza here and coach Cam (Kim Cameron) have helped me a lot, too, so it’s just a mesh of people,” Day continued.
Off her textbook post move, Day scored 15 points in the first quarter alone as the Falcons built a 27-13 lead, leaving with 30 seconds when she was whistled for her second personal foul.
“She was awesome,” BGSU head coach Robyn Fralick said. “To be able to get points like that in the paint, she is so skilled. It’s fun to watch. Credit to her — she works at it. She’s just got so many ways that she can finish inside.
“That really helped us. They were playing a mesh of zone and man, and we were able to get points in the paint against their zone.”
Day connected on 12-of-18 shots plus she had four rebounds, two assists, and three steals in getting the Falcons their 20th win against two losses, tied for the best start in program history.
It was the Falcons ninth straight victory, and they are 10-0 at the Stroh Center. Not everything was picture-perfect though.
Miami was able to close the gap to five points, 39-34, with 1:40 remaining in the second half, but junior guard Nyla Hampton hit a three-pointer at the buzzer, thanks to an aggressive second chance rebound by Sophie Dziekan, to take a 45-35 lead into the break.
“The second quarter we had a little bit of a lull,” Fralick said. “I just think we fouled too much, and I thought we did a better job of that in the second half.”
The second half was all BGSU, outscoring the RedHawks, 43-24. Miami did not get a fourth quarter field goal until sophomore forward Jessie Dai hit a three-pointer with 1:10 remaining for her only points.
In typical fashion, the Falcons’ defense forced 22 turnovers, including nine steals. The Falcons outrebounded the RedHawks, 41-34, and that included 15 off the Falcons’ offensive glass.
BGSU outscored Miami 30-2 in points off turnovers, 25-8 in second chance points, 10-5 in fast breaks, and even the Falcons’ bench virtually routed the RedHawks’ bench, 22-5.
The Falcons, who had nine turnovers, never trailed the entire game. BGSU got off 73 shots to Miami’s 49, making 33 (45%), including 10-for-25 from three-point territory (40%) and 12-for-18 (67%) from the line.
The RedHawks made 20 shots from the floor (41%), were 5-for-17 from downtown (29%) and 14-for-19 (74%) from the charity stripe.
BGSU senior guard Elissa Brett had 14 points and six rebounds and Hampton scored 14 with four rebounds and five assists.
Starting junior guard Lexi Fleming had an off-shooting night, but contributed with three points, five rebounds, and four assists.
Sophomore guard Amy Velasco had six points, five rebounds, and three assists, and the 6-2 Dziekan had six points, five rebounds, four assists and blocked two shots.
BGSU freshman guard Jasmine Fearne was 2-for-2 from the arc, scoring six points and senior forward Payton Moore scored four points.
Defensively, the Falcons held one of the MAC’s top scorers, Miami sophomore guard Ivy Wolf, to 2-of-14 shooting, including 0-for-4 from the arc. Wolf had eight points and four assists but committed a game-high five turnovers.
“When we were coming in, Miami is a dangerous team and they score the ball really well,” Fralick said. “So, I was proud of our defensive effort.”
Sophomore guard Maddi Clause led the RedHawks (9-14 overall, 5-5 MAC) with 17 points, eight rebounds, and two assists, but she committed four turnovers.
Senior forward Amani Freeman had 11 points and five rebounds, junior forward Sierra Morrow had 10 points and six rebounds, and senior guard Peyton Scott scored eight points.