BGSU Men's Basketball
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The Bowling Green men's basketball team began their 2013-2014 season on the right foot with a relentless 102-49 rout of Earlham College. Six Falcons scored in double figures and the team shot over 53 percent from the floor. Regardless of the level of competition, BGSU showed some very positive things on which to build as much more difficult games wait on the horizon.
Bowling Green allowed Earlham to hang around four minutes. A Jack O'Flaherty jumper at the 16 minute mark pulled the Quakers to within 6-5. However, the Falcons went on a 27-5 run after the first media timeout to gain control of the game, and the teams then went back-and-forth for the final seven minutes of the half. At the break, BGSU led 50-30.
In the second half, the Falcons unleashed fury. They began the 20-minute stanza with a 22-4 run and closed it with a 22-3 run. What resulted was Bowling Green's first 100-point outburst in ten years (vs. Urbana, 11/21/2003) and their biggest victory margin in 14 years (62 vs. Urbana, 12/22/1999). The 102-49 victory on Saturday is also Bowling Green's 22nd consecutive win in their home opener.
As previously noted, the Falcons shot over 53% for the game. They were 40-for-75 (.533) overall and were above the 50% mark in both halves. The Falcons were 7-for-18 (.389) from long range and were a passable 15-for-23 (.652) from the free throw line. Earlham shot 19-for-63 (.302) and managed a meager 22.9% in the second half. That second half total included a very poor 3-for-18 performance from three-point range. They also managed only five free throw attempts in the entire game, none of which came in the second half.
After being out-rebounded in the first half, Bowling Green did a much better job on the boards in the second half and won the battle, 46-30. Their total included ten offensive rebounds, of which nine came in the second half. The Falcons had an assist-to-turnover ratio of 29 to 9 as compared to Earlham's 6 to 25. They earned a school-record 22 steals and also had nine blocked shots.
Individually, the Falcons were led by Jehvon Clarke and Spencer Parker. Clarke had a game-high 17 points (7-for-11 FG) to go with three rebounds. He also had eight assists to just one turnover and gathered six steals. Parker scored 16 points of his own (6-for-11 FG) and brought in six rebounds. He was second behind Clarke with six assists, and those came with no turnovers. Richaun Holmes was a couple of rebounds shy of a double-double, as he scored 12 points and had eight rebounds. He also had his customary big day with four blocks. Chauncey Orr, Cameron Black and Anthony Henderson also scored in double figures. Josh Gomez contributed only one point, but he did have seven rebounds and blocked three shots.
Earlham's top player was Michael Parker, who played 31 minutes off the bench. He scored a team-high 16 points and led the Quakers with seven rebounds. Jack O'Flaherty also contributed nine points and five rebounds.
Bowling Green plays next on Friday, Nov. 15th at home against South Florida. The game will be the second half of a doubleheader with the women's basketball team and is scheduled to begin at approximately 8:30 p.m. ET. The Falcons played at South Florida last December and lost in a triple-overtime thriller. USF won their season opener over Tennessee Tech, 72-62, and were led in scoring by Victor Rudd (23). The Bulls host Bethune-Cookman on Tuesday night before traveling to Bowling Green.
BGSU Women's Basketball
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The Bowling Green women's basketball team capped a wildly successful opening weekend in New Rochelle, N.Y. by defeating the host Iona Gaels on Saturday to win the 2013 Iona Tip-Off Tournament. The exciting 51-50 victory came against a team that won over 20 games last season and who is one of the favorites to win the Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference this season.
Want to know how tight this game was? Neither team held more than an eight point lead at any point in the game (and Iona's biggest lead was only four). The score was tied at six different times during the game, and the lead changed hands six times. That latter total included four lead changes in the final 82 seconds of the game.
The Falcons jumped ahead right away after the opening tip, as Alexis Rogers scored on a layup just 15 seconds into the game. The two teams went back-and-forth for most of the first 10 minutes. After several early ties, BGSU trailed for the first time this season when Damika Martinez hit a jumper with 11:42 left in e first half to give Iona a 14-12 lead. The Gaels held that lead for most of the next six minutes, until a Jasime Matthews' layup gave the Falcons a 21-19 lead with 5:53 left in the half. The Falcons increased their lead to a game-high eight points within two minutes and held serve from there. The team went into the locker room with a 30-23 halftime edge.
Iona's Sabrina Jeridore sank a jumper 12 seconds into the second half to cut BGSU's lead to five, but the Falcons would keep their lead between two and six points for the vast majority of the half. Both teams struggled to score for much of the half -- after the first 11:30, Iona had outscored BGSU in second half points by only a 9-8 margin. Aaliyah Robinson made a three-pointer for the Gaels with 2:39 left in regulation to finally cut BGSU's lead to just one (47-46). With 1:22 left on the clock, Damika Martinez connected on a jumper to give Iona a 48-47 lead. It was their first lead in the game since 6:30 was left in the first half. Alexis Rogers responded with a layup for Bowling Green with 0:56 left, but Iona took the lead right back just 20 seconds later when Martinez hit another jumper.
After a Bowling Green timeout, Jillian Halfhill drove into the paint and found a lane between two Iona defenders. Her layup with 0:18 left gave BGSU a 51-50 edge. Iona took the ball and called timeout in the frontcourt with 0:12 left. Out of the timeout, Martinez missed a jumper, and Halfhill caused a tie-up on the attempted rebound. The possession arrow favored Bowling Green, and Alexis Rogers was fouled with 0:03 remaining. She missed the first of a one-and-one, but the ball was tipped on the rebound. The clock expired as Iona's Joy Adams retrieved the ball, and BGSU walked away with a 51-50 win.
Bowling Green shot 12-for-25 (.480) in the first half but struggled in the second half with only a .300 mark. For the game, they were 21-for-55 (.382) from the floor. They could not find their stroke from long range at any point during the game, as they managed to make just one of 11 three-pointers. They also struggled again from the charity stripe and made just eight of 15 free throws. Iona shot an identical 10-for-26 (.385) in each half. That total included eight makes in 17 tries from long distance. However, the Gaels attempted (and made) just two free throws during the game.
The Falcons dominated the game up front, a fact which went a long way towards helping them win the game. They outrebounded Iona 39-31 and held a 13-6 edge in offensive rebounds. They also outscored the Gaels 34-12 in the paint. BGSU had a 13-11 assist-to-turnover rate, compared to 10-14 by Iona. The Falcons also earned 11 steals.
Alexis Rogers contributed a double-double with a team-high 15 points and a game-high 11 rebounds. Jill Stein came very close to a double-double of her own with eight points and nine rebounds. Jillian Halfhill also scored in double figures with ten points, while Erica Donovan and Miriam Justinger each scored seven. Justinger also had five assists with just one turnover. The five starters played a heavy role in this game; four had at least 34 minutes. Jasmine Matthews had 21 minutes off the bench, but none of the other bench players were in for more than six.
MAAC Preseason Player of the Year Damika Martinez showed why she holds that distinction by scoring 25 points (half of her team's total) and gathering in five rebounds. She also played all 40 minutes. Aaliyah Robinson scored 14 points off the bench, while Sabrina Jeridore and Joy Adams each contributed ten rebounds.
Bowling Green plays their home opener next Friday (Nov. 15th) in the first half of a Stroh Center doubleheader with the men's team. The game versus Niagara begins at 6:00 p.m. ET. Niagara lost their season opener to Lehigh, 93-73. They were led in scoring by Meghan McGuinness (25). The game will be BGSU's only home contest until December 8th.