KENT, Ohio – The Bowling Green State University women’s basketball team got clutch performances from multiple players on Saturday afternoon as the Falcons picked up a 75-69 road win against Kent State University at the M.A.C. Center.
Elissa Brett scored a game-high 20 points for the Falcons (22-2, 11-1 Mid-American Conference), who won for the 11th consecutive game. BGSU remains tied for first in the MAC standings with Ball State.
Brett was a perfect 5-for-5 from three-point range in the win. Allison Day and Nyla Hampton joined her in double digits with 17 and 16 points, respectively.
Day was 7-of-11 from the floor, while Hampton went 8-of-10 from the free-throw line, hitting all four of her shots from the stripe in the final 90 seconds.
Jocelyn Tate overcame some early foul trouble to score eight points and grab a team-leading eight rebounds, while Lexi Fleming had seven points and five rebounds. Fleming also led the Falcons with three assists and six steals, setting a career high in the latter category.
“This was a really tough, competitive game. Kent State’s a really good team,” BGSU coach Robyn Fralick said. “It was a very back-and-forth game, and I thought we did a great job of getting timely stops and timely scores.”
“We showed some grit today. Defensively, we were able to withstand some stretches when we were not scoring. And then, later in the fourth quarter, we were able to come up with some really timely baskets.
“Amy Velasco had a huge finish for us, Elissa (Brett) had a big ‘and-one’ in transition, and Allison (Day) had a really timely finish after we were able to use some clock.”
“It was tough, though. It was a great basketball game. Kent State made a lot of plays, too, and I’m just really proud of our team for finding a way to win today.”
Lindsey Thall had 15 points to pace three players in double digits for the Golden Flashes (15-8, 7-5 MAC). Corynne Hauser added 13 and Casey Santoro 11.
The Falcons led for nearly the entire game, but the Flashes cut the BG lead to two points on a pair of occasions early in the fourth quarter.
The Falcons went without a field goal for nearly six minutes to begin that final quarter, but held KSU without a bucket for over four minutes. But, Katie Shumate’s layup with 5:59 to go cut the BG lead to 63-61.
The score remained the same for nearly two minutes, before Amy Velasco drove and hit a layup with 4:01 on the clock. Fleming had steals on each of the next two possessions, and after the second one, she pulled up in the paint and dished the ball off to the onrushing Brett for an ‘and-one’ bucket with 2:50 remaining. Brett’s free throw gave BGSU a 68-61 lead.
The hosts would cut the BGSU lead to three points on a Santoro three-pointer with 32.3 seconds left, but Hampton was fouled and hit a pair of free throws several seconds later, and KSU would not score again.
BGSU shot 44.6 percent from the field, going 25-for-56 on the day, while KSU shot 42.6% (23-of-54). The Falcons shot 57.1% from the floor (16-for-28) in the first half.
BGSU went 7-for-19 from three-point range, making all seven triples in the first half. The Flashes were 8-of-28 from long distance.
The Falcons went 18-of-26 (69.2%) from the free-throw line, including an 8-of-9 effort in the fourth quarter. KSU was 15-of-20 from the stripe.
Kent State had a 36-30 rebounding advantage, but BGSU committed just nine turnovers while forcing the Flashes into 19.
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 60-26 overall and 35-15 in the league over the last two-plus years.
The Falcons return home to face Northern Illinois on Wednesday evening, Feb. 15. That game tips off at 7 p.m. at the Stroh Center, and it will be Faculty/Staff Appreciation Night as well as the Falcons’ annual Play 4Kay/Pink game.
Then, BGSU will return to the road to meet Western Michigan next Saturday (Feb. 18) and Central Michigan four days later (Feb. 22).