The Bowling Green Falcons lost for the first time in the 2013-2014 season when they dropped a 74-60 decision to the Marist Red Foxes on Friday night in Columbus, Ohio. The game was the first for each team in the 2013 Basketball Hall of Fame Challenge.
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Bowling Green led for much of the first half, as it appeared that this game would go as had their first four. Alexis Rogers got the scoring started with two layups inside the first minute of the game. Marist claimed a brief 5-4 lead on a three-pointer by Emma O'Connor, but the Falcons then went on a 9-0 run to take an eight-point lead, which was their biggest of the game. Eight of the points in that run were scored by Erica Donovan, with that total helped by two shots from long range.
The mini-run madness continued as Marist then reeled off six straight points thanks to two three-pointers, and BGSU followed that with another six-point burst to push their lead right back to eight points. The score stood at 19-11 with 9:37 left on the clock in the first half.
From there, Marist went on a 21-5 run over the next eight minutes. The Red Foxes tied the game at 22 with free throws from Madeline Blais, then finally re-took the lead at 25-24 on a three by Katharine Fogarty. By the time the run was over, Marist had built an eight-point lead of their own at 32-24. BGSU scored the final basket of the half on a Jillian Halfhill layup to go into the locker room down 32-26.
Bowling Green came back for the second half and quickly re-claimed the lead. The Falcons scored the first seven points of the second half, and a Halfhill layup gave them a 33-32 edge. The lead went back and forth between the two teams for the first ten minutes of the half. In fact, there were eight different lead exchanges and four ties during this time frame.
Unfortunately for the Falcons, Marist went on another big run as the second half clock wound down. BGSU claimed their final lead at 53-52 with 9:15 left in the game thanks to a Donovan layup and free throw. From that point, Marist went on an 18-4 run over the next six minutes. The Red Foxes took the lead for good on a layup by Leanne Ockenden (54-53, 8:46). When the run was over, Marist held a 13-point lead (70-57) with 3:13 remaining in the game.
Alexis Rogers sank a three to give the Falcons a faint glimmer of hope with two minutes left, but Marist scored the final four points of the game (all on free throws) for the final 74-60 margin.
The Falcons shot 22-for-59 (.373) from the floor during the game. Half of their made shots (11) were three-pointers, and those were made in 30 attempts. They were also an uncharacteristic 5-for-12 (.417) from the free throw line. Marist was much better and finished the contest with 23 makes in 48 field goal attempts (.479). That included 10 threes in 22 attempts (.455). The Red Foxes also doubled the Falcons up from the charity stripe with 23 attempts; they converted 18 of those (.783).
Each team posted 35 rebounds and had just ten turnovers. However, Marist had five blocks to zero for BGSU and was generally able to make more happen in the paint. Marist had a 26-20 edge in points on the inside (to go with their edge in free throws).
Three Falcons scored in double-figures, led by Alexis Rogers and Jillian Halfhill with 16 each. Rogers added 11 rebounds for a double-double. Erica Donovan was one rebound shy of joining Rogers in double-double land, as she ended the game with 14 points and nine rebounds. Miriam Justinger added seven points for BGSU.
Marist also had three players who scored in double figures. That group was led by Madeline Blais, who had a game-high 24 points and a team-high seven rebounds. She was joined by Emma O'Connor (17 points) and Leanne Ockenden (16 points).
The Falcons, who now carry a 4-1 record, will face Old Dominion this evening in Columbus, Ohio. Tip for that game is scheduled for 6:00 p.m. ET. Old Dominion is 2-2 thus far with wins over Delaware State and Radford, as well as losses to Virginia Tech and Ohio State.