Bowling Green’s Lexi Fleming reacts after getting called for a foul in the closing seconds of the fourth quarter of a game against Northern Illinois on February 15, 2023 at the Stroh Center in Bowling Green, Ohio. Northern Illinois defeated Bowling Green 85-81 ending the Falcons 11 game winning streak.

Scott W. Grau | Sentinel-Tribune

It was almost as if there was a lid on the basket or something was redirecting the Bowling Green State University women’s basketball team’s shots Wednesday at the Stroh Center.

The usually hot-shooting Falcons connected on only 5-of-28 three-point shots, or 18% doing the math. That played the biggest role in BGSU’s 85-81 Mid-American Conference loss to Northern Illinois University.

It was not as if the Falcons weren’t getting great looks, either.

“Honestly I think we got great shots all night,” said BGSU junior guard Nyla Hampton. “It’s just one of those games, you know.

“Not every night are all of your shots going to fall and that was definitely one of those nights today,” Hampton continued.

“We missed a lot of uncharacteristic shots, like a lot of shots we would normally make, and I think that really caught up to us today.”

BGSU coach Robyn Fralick added, “Every time I thought we needed to make a timely basket, I thought we didn’t, and they did. We did all the things that matter in winning possessions, but we have got to finish.

“I thought we got great looks. It kind of felt like one of those nights where you are just waiting for one of them to go in and they didn’t.”

BGSU’s shooting woes were apparent from the beginning as the Huskies opened a 24-14 first quarter lead. The Falcons responded by stepping up defensively but were never able to regain the lead.

“It’s definitely frustrating,” Hampton said. “It’s something we should have adjusted to sooner. Obviously, we made adjustments.

“After the first quarter we were able to take a different approach, but it’s something we have to shut down in the first quarter instead of letting it drag along all the way through there.”

The loss snaps the Falcons’ 11-game winning streak and is their first loss at the Stroh Center this season in 11 games.

With four MAC games remaining, BGSU slips to 21-3 overall and 11-2 in the conference, tied with Toledo (20-4, 11-2) for second place. Ball State owns sole possession of first place at 21-4 and 12-1. NIU improves to 13-11 and 5-8.

Looking at every category except shooting percentages and the score, you might have thought that Wednesday’s game was a blowout in BGSU’s favor.

The Falcons got off 24 more shots. BGSU outscored the Huskies 28-11 in points off turnovers, 50-26 on points scored in the paint, 16-2 on second chance points, and 13-2 in fast breaks.

In a game that saw 43 personal fouls whistled, BGSU had 14 offensive rebounds to Northern Illinois’ five, even though each team had 36 rebounds, and the Falcons had just 13 turnovers to the Huskies’ 22.

Yet, Northern Illinois led for all but three minutes of the game. While BGSU made 32-of-76 shots (42%) overall, the Huskies were more efficient, making 28-of-52 (54%), including 13-for-25 (52%) from downtown.

NIU senior guard Chelby Koker hit two triples in scoring 18 points with two assists and graduate-student guard Janae Poisson was 4-for-4 from the arc, scoring 17 points.

NIU 6-1 senior forward A’Jah Davis was 8-for-10 from the field, scoring a double-double 16 points with 16 rebounds and four assists, and sophomore guard Sidney McCrea hit 3-of-5 triples to score 11 points with two assists and two steals.

Hampton was 6-for-14 from the field, but 0-for-4 from the arc, still leading the Falcons with 17 points, seven rebounds, three assists and five steals.

BGSU senior post Allison Day was 7-for-12 from the field, but still missed shots that she usually makes off her patented post moves, scoring 15 points.

Junior guard Lexi Fleming was the only Falcon to hit more than one triple, but it was just two treys out of seven attempts, as she scored 15 points with four rebounds, two assists and three steals.

Senior guard Elissa Brett was a dismal 1-for-10 from downtown, but she produced 11 points, eight rebounds, four assists and three steals.

Sophie Dziekan, a 6-2 junior forward, was the only Falcon to shoot above 50%, making 4-of-4 shots from the floor and scoring nine points with six rebounds.

Starting sophomore guard Jocelyn Tate got into foul trouble early, and eventually fouled out after playing less than 18 minutes. She was 2-for-9 from the field and finished with four points and five rebounds.