GREEN BAY, Wis. – The Bowling Green State University women’s basketball team is headed to the WNIT’s third round.
The Falcons used a pair of runs to take control on Monday evening, posting a 69-51 win over Green Bay in a national-tourney second-round contest at the Kress Center.
With the win, the Falcons (29-6) have earned a home date for the third round of the WNIT. BGSU will face Memphis in the Super 16 on Thursday at the Stroh Center. Memphis (21-10) defeated Ball State (26-8), 79-62, or else the Falcons would be facing the Cardinals for the fourth time this season.
The win was BGSU’s 14th road victory of the season, extending the current team’s school record. The 2022-23 Falcons are now 14-3 in true road contests.
But, Thursday’s win was the first WNIT road win in school history, plus they did it against a team used to winning at home and in a style Green Bay is not used to.
Green Bay entered Monday night’s game with a record of 15-1 at home this season. The only previous home loss for the Phoenix came by three points against Youngstown State.
Green Bay had not been held to 51 points or fewer at home in over three years, since Jan. 17, 2020. The Phoenix had not lost a home game by double digits since that same date, a 54-42 loss to IUPUI.
Green Bay had not lost at home by as many as 18 points in 15 years (plus six days); since a 90-66 loss to Cleveland State in the 2008 Horizon League championship (March 14, 2008).
“I’m really proud of our team tonight. Green Bay is a very, very good team, and to win on the road in such a tough environment took a great defensive effort,” BGSU coach Robyn Fralick said.
“I also thought our kids made timely shots and played with a lot of grit. We’re really happy that we get to continue our season and get a chance to play another game at home.”
“The opportunity to play a home game in the round of 16 in the WNIT is incredible. We can’t wait for Thursday. We want to pack the Stroh.
“Tell your friends to tell their friends to tell their friends — Thursday night at 6 p.m. We couldn’t be more excited about another chance to play before our awesome fans at the Stroh.”
Allison Day led all players with 25 points and 10 rebounds in the win, going 12-for-16 from the field. She was just three made field goals shy of Green Bay’s team total (15).
Elissa Brett scored 13 points and Lexi Fleming 12. Amy Velasco had a career-high 11 assists in the victory.
The teams were tied, 17-17, after one quarter, but BGSU held the Phoenix to just five second-quarter points, ending the first half on a 7-0 run that was capped by Fleming’s buzzer-beating three-pointer.
Velasco contributed to 10 consecutive BGSU points late in the third quarter, hitting a corner three before assisting on the next three Falcon buckets to enable BG to open up a double-digit lead.
Then, Fleming knocked down back-to-back-to-back long-distance tries in the first two minutes of the final period, for the final nine points in a 14-0 run that gave the Falcons a commanding 21-point advantage.
BGSU shot over 50 percent from the field – 50.9%, to be exact – while holding Green Bay to just 15 made field goals and a 26.3% success rate from the floor.
Jasmine Kondrakiewicz led the Phoenix (28-6) with 11 points on the night.
BGSU is now 10-8 in WNIT games through the years. Eight of the first nine such victories came at either venerable Anderson Arena or the Stroh Center, with an additional victory coming at a neutral site.
The Falcons spotted the Phoenix a quick lead, as Kondrakiewicz hit a three-point shot on the game’s first possession. Day, however, scored the game’s next four points, and netted the Falcons’ first six points of the evening. Her third field goal in a span of under 90 seconds gave the Falcons a 6-5 lead.
The hosts answered with five quick points, as Sydney Levy hit a floater before a long pass led to a three-point play by Kondrakiewicz and a 10-6 Green Bay lead. Brett had a nifty offensive rebound and putback, but a Cassie Schiltz left-side triple gave the Phoenix a 13-10 advantage.
Jocelyn Tate worked her way toward the hoop and laid the ball off glass to begin a 7-0 run for the Falcons. Tate drew Bailey Butler’s second foul of the game heading into the media timeout, and sank a pair of free-throw tries after the break. Day came up with a steal, then took an a Velasco pass and knocked down a three-point attempt for a 15-13 BG lead.
Velasco hit a shot in the paint, but Tatum Koenig’s triple in the final minute of the quarter tied the score at 17-17.
Day scored the first four points of the second period, with an offensive rebound and putback followed by a left-side jumper off of Lexi Fleming’s inbounds pass. Day had 13 points and the Falcons had a 21-17 lead, but Day was whistled for her second foul of the game just over two minutes into the period.
Velasco found Sophie Dziekan for a shot off glass, but Schiltz’s three-pointer cut the BG lead in half, and that lead would shrink to a single point moments later. But, Nyla Hampton’s smooth jumper beat the shot-clock buzzer and begin a 7-0 BGSU run to end the half.
After Hampton’s hoop, neither team would score for nearly three minutes, but Tate hit a contested jumper in traffic, then had an emphatic blocked shot at the other end of the court that helped the BG defense force a shot-clock violation.
The final seconds of the half saw Velasco drive and kick the ball to Fleming for a three-pointer that gave the Falcons a 30-22 advantage heading into the locker room.
The Phoenix got off to a fast start in the third period, as a pair of offensive rebounds led to a three-pointer by Levy, and Kondrakiewicz then hit a turnaround jumper that cut BGSU’s lead to three.
Day answered quickly, with a layup, and after a triple by Kondrakiewicz, Day took a Hampton pass and banked home a shot for a 34-30 lead.
Brett grabbed a defensive rebound, headed downcourt and hit a pull-up jumper, and moments later, Tate drove the baseline and whipped a pass to Velasco for a corner three and a 39-32 advantage.
After hitting that shot, Velasco then assisted on the next three BG buckets. She found Brett cutting the baseline for a back-door layup, then drove and kicked the ball to Brett for a three-pointer in front of the BG bench. When Velasco spotted Day for a layup, the Falcons had a 46-34 lead, and BGSU took that advantage into the fourth period.
Day, double-teamed on the baseline on the opening possession of the final quarter, kicked the ball to Fleming for a three-pointer from the right wing. That was the first of no fewer than three Fleming triples in the first two minutes of the period.
Day took a Hampton pass and knocked down another long-range try from nearly the same spot, then grabbed Velasco’s pass and hit another trey from a nearly-identical location.
Fleming’s own personal 9-0 run capped a 14-0 BGSU surge,and when her third triple of the final quarter went through the next, the Falcons had a 55-34 lead.
The hosts responded with five-straight points, but a spectacular pass from Velasco resulted in a layup and a 57-40 lead midway through the quarter.
The hosts got a Jenna Guyer triple, but Day’s ‘extra pass’ resulted in a Brett jumper, and after the Falcons broke the press moments later, Brett found Day for an open layup.
Velasco hit a cutting Brett for another open layup after BGSU had used nearly all of the shot clock, and Fleming found Day for another easy bucket and a 65-46 lead with under two minutes to go.
Day would take a Tate pass and knock down another close-range shot, and Kadie Hempfling was fouled and hit a pair of free throws with exactly one minute left to cap the scoring.
Each team attempted 57 shots on the night, but BG nearly doubled up Green Bay in field goals made. The Falcons hit 29 shots for a 50.9% rate, while holding the Phoenix to just 15 successful buckets (26.3%).
The Falcons shot 50% from the floor in both the first and third quarters, and BG went 9-for-12 (75%) in the fourth.
Meanwhile, the Falcon defense did not allow the Phoenix to make more than five field goals in any of the four periods. Green Bay went just 2-for-15 from the floor in the second period (13.3%) and hit only four field goals in both the third and fourth quarters.
Led by Day’s 10 boards, the Falcons had a 41-30 rebounding advantage.